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Canada’s Brent Hayden and Ryan Cochrane each swam to a second gold medal of the Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
On the final day of swimming competition in Delhi, Hayden completed the sprint double by winning the men’s 50-metre freestyle in record time, and Cochrane won his second long-distance gold by taking the 1,500 freestyle.
Montreal’s Benoit Huot also won gold in the men’s 100 freestyle for disabled swimmers, and Audrey Lacroix of Pont-Rouge, Que., added a silver in the women’s 200 butterfly, raising Canada’s swimming medal tally to nine.
In addition to the five gold won by Cochrane, Hayden and Huot, and Lacroix’s silver, Julia Wilkinson picked up a pair of bronze medals in the women’s 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley, and Stefan Hirniak had a bronze in the men’s 200 butterfly.
Hayden won the 50 free, nicknamed the “splash and dash,” in a Commonwealth Games record 22.01 seconds, ahead of a pair of South Africans.
Defending champion Roland Schoeman took the silver medal and Gideon Louw got the bronze.
Hayden’s victory gave him a sweep of the men’s sprint events. He also set a Games record in winning the 100 freestyle on Thursday, positioning the 26-year-old from Mission, B.C., as a medal contender in both events for the 2012 Olympics in London.
“I’ve been telling everyone that I wanted to win two gold medals, but to actually live it out is amazing,” Hayden said. “I always seem to make my move in the last 15 metres, so I need to work a little on my first half.”
Cochrane, the world’s top-ranked swimmer in the 1,500 free, won his race relatively comfortably in 15:01.49, though the Victoria native got a stiffer-than expected challenge from South Africa’s Heerden Herman. The silver medallist finished in 15:03.70, and England’s Daniel Fogg took the bronze in 15:13.50.
Cochrane’s victory was the first ever by a Canadian at this distance at the Commonwealth Games. He also snapped a long national drought earlier this week by capturing the 400 freestyle, which a Canadian hadn’t won at the Games in 72 years.
Cochrane may have added a third gold medal if the 800 free, in which he’s ranked second in the world and tops in the Commonwealth, had been included on the Delhi program.
With files from The Canadian Press
Hayden completes swimming sprint doubleIn Canada on October 9, 2010 at 09:40