Commonwealth Champ Canada's Ryan Cochrane swims to 1,500m freestyle silver

Canada's Ryan Cochrane swims to 1,500m freestyle silver

August 4, 2012, London

Since winning bronze four years ago in Beijing, Cochrane’s main motivation for London Olympics was the swim his best ever time — and a medal, of course.

The Canadian accomplished both those things.

The Victoria swimmer captured silver in the men’s 1,500-metre final on Saturday in London, finishing in a time of 14 minutes, 39.63 seconds. It was his best time since clocking a 14:40.84 during the preliminaries of the 1,500m in Beijing.

China’s Sun Yang, the 2011 world champion, broke his own world record by finishing in 14:31.02. Tunisian Oussama Mellouli, the 2008 Olympic gold medallist, reached the last podium spot in14:40.31.

Cochrane, along with Sun, was actually under world-record pace during the first portion of the race.

Cochrane made a wise decision not to try and keep up with the remarkable Sun, who beat the Canadian by more than 10 seconds at the world championships.

The 23-year-old worked well within the framework of his game plan, displaying great endurance throughout the grueling race. As the swimmers headed toward the last 100 metres and the final bell — the area of the race which Cochrane calls the “Bell of Angels” — the Canadian was in strong enough form to hold off Mellouli.

It was the second medal in the pool for Canada — the most since three were earned at the 1996 Atlanta Olympis