Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Russell into Swim Final, Hayden Has Short Turnaround after Medal at Olympics

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Russell into Swim Final, Hayden Has Short Turnaround after Medal at Olympics

Article excerpt

Russell to swim for backstroke medal


LONDON - Celebrating an Olympic medal all night instead of swimming another race was not an option for Brent Hayden.

Hours after winning his bronze in the 100 freestyle, Hayden was back on the start blocks in the 50-metre freestyle Thursday.

He didn't make it to the final, but he still felt it was worth doing. Hayden's third Olympic Games are likely his last, so he wants to race.

"I'm in an event in the Olympics," Hayden said. "You've got take that opportunity. For me, it's never going to come around again.

"I knew I was an outside shot, but I knew if I did nail my race, I knew that I would have actually had a shot to be in the final and maybe even go for a podium."

The 28-year-old from Mission, B.C., qualified out of the morning heats for the evening semifinal, in which he finished tied for 14th. He'll race again Friday with the Canadian men in the 4 x 100 medley relay.

Toronto's Martha McCabe was fifth in the women's 200 breaststroke final Thursday. Sinead Russell of Burlington, Ont., will swim for a medal in Friday's 200 backstroke after clinching the eighth and final berth in the semifinals.

Hayden's post-medal activities Wednesday night were decidedly low-key. Since he was about to race again so soon, Hayden opted out of the news conference held for all medallists.

Hayden grabbed a bite to eat in the athletes' village cafeteria, answered a few congratulatory messages on Facebook and his e-mail and spoke on the phone to his fiancee Nadina Zarifeh.

"I didn't get a chance to see her at the pool," Hayden said of his night. "Took a sleeping pill and tried to knock myself out around 12:30."

Hayden didn't race the 50 metres at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Back spasms forced him out of the event at trials, which was another reason he wanted to have a go at it in London.

He was so excited to race the semifinal, his first stroke off the dive was deep in an effort to get back to the surface quickly.

"It's such a technical race," Hayden explained. "I kind of missed my breakout a little bit and kind of got stuck behind everybody early and tried to play catchup. …

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