Surprise bronze for Wilkinson

BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:52 AM ET

DELHI, India -- Julia Wilkinson of Stratford, Ont., had a surprise bronze medal for Canada on an otherwise disappointing Wednesday in the 2010 Commonwealth Games swim meet.

Wilkinson was third in the women's 100 metre backstroke at Dr. S.P.M. Aquatics Complex. Australian Emily Seebohm won gold with a Commonwealth record of 59.79 seconds, eclipsing world record holder Gemma Spofforth of England by 0.23.

Wilkinson had little time to savour her medal and the Indian sash. She rejoined her teammates immediately after the podium ceremony to swim the second leg of the women's 4 x 200 m freestyle relay. Canada finished fourth, behind champion Australia, New Zealand and England. Wilkinson said Canada should've had bronze.

"Us getting beaten by those two teams -- a big part of that is on me," said Wilkinson.

Canada's men's 4 x 200 m freestyle relay quartet also finished fourth. Victoria's Ryan Cochrane, who won 400 metre freestyle gold on Monday, couldn't lift the team onto the podium on the final leg after Richmond, B.C.'s Brian Johns briefly held second place on the penultimate leg.

"All of us could've been better, that's where we are right now," said Cochrane, the 2008 Beijing 1,500 m freestyle bronze medallist.

"We're definitely moving forward, there were a couple of little mistakes. Overall we had decent swims, it didn't add up to a medal but we're pretty friggin' close."

Earlier, women's 200 m breaststroke world record holder Annamay Pierse of Edmonton finished a shocking fifth to rival and Commonwealth record holder Leisel Jones of Australia. Pierse, who trains in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia, led the first half of the race until Jones turned it into an Australian sweep.

"It was awful, that's pretty much all I have to say. It was terrible," Pierse said. "It was awful, the whole thing, from the beginning."


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