Fri, September 20, 2013

Slow start dooms Canadian freestyle relay

By ALAIN BERGERON, QMI Agency


(L-R) Canada's Samantha Cheverton, Amanda Reason and Barbara Jardin cheer on their anchor Brittany Maclean during the final leg of their women's 4x200m freestyle relay heat at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 1, 2012. (REUTERS)


LONDON - The team effort required during a relay race doesn’t diminish the personal disappointment of missing an Olympic podium by inches. Barbara Jardin and Samantha Cheverton, from Montreal, believed Wednesday evening would be theirs.

The two swimmers from Quebec left the London Aquatics Center with disappointment after finishing fourth in the 4x200m freestyle finale.

In the morning heats, they achieved the third best time (7:50.84), though they failed to imitate that performance in the more important race, won by the Americans with a time of 7:42.92.

“We don’t have a medal but on the other hand we are the world’s fourth best team. We must not be that disappointed. It’s Canada’s best time in this category.” Jardin said, after her quartet finished the race in 7:50.65, more than three seconds behind the bronze-winning French team.

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

A Canadian podium could have rekindled a well-known tune in the Jardin family. Barbara could have achieved the same feat as her aunt, Anne, who won two bronze medals in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Jardin, who was the team’s first swimmer, admitted she had a bad start, which hindered Canada’s race.

“I completely failed my start. My legs were shaking because of the long delay before the start signal. But it’s not an excuse, all the others were in the same situation,” said the 20-year-old swimmer, whose team also included Amanda Reason, from Calgary, and Brittany MacLean, from Etobicoke, Ont.