By Phillip Whitten
VICTORIA, British Columbia,Feb. 22. CANADA'S Brian Johns turned in a stunning, world record performance last night to highlight the Canadian Inter-University Swimming (CIS) Championships in Victoria, B.C. It was the first world record by a Canadian man in six years (and that was a short-lived 50 meter backstroke mark by Chris Reynaud).
Representing the University of British Columbia, Johns blazed an amazing 4:02.72, swimming precisely 20 seconds faster than his nearest pursuer and hacking more than a second-and-a-half from Australia's Matt Dunn's previous global standard set five years ago. The time was more than four seconds faster than Johns' previous best of 4:06.85.
The exuberant Johns, a native of Richmond B.C., commented aafter his race: "It's a pretty amazing feeling right now," said Johns. "I've yet to come back down to earth. This is the greatest moment of my career so far.
"I had good performances in Europe last month on the World Cup and I told my coach that fully prepared, I could break the world record," Johns said. "So we decided to go for it at this meet. It was pretty good."
"In the race, I wasn't totally sure how fast I was going, which is normal in your first swim after you‚ve been shaved and tapered. But when I took my first breath in the breaststroke I could hear the crowd going nuts so I knew I was close. And when I touched I wasn't so much surprised that I got the record but surprised by the margin by which I broke it."
The swim vaults Johns into the upper reaches of medley swsimmers in the world, putting him into contention for the gold at July's World Championships against the likes of the USA's Mike Phelps and Erik Vendt, Italy's Alessio Boggiatto and, perhaps, China's Wu Peng.
A silver medalist in the 400 IM at the World Short Course Championships last year in Moscow, he was sixth in 2001 at the long course World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
There were several other Canadian record-breaking performances at the CIS Championships. UBC's men's 400m free relay clocked 3:17.53. For the women, University of Toronto's Liz Warden put up a 4:38.21 in the 400 IM; University of Calgary's Erin Gammel stopped the clocked at 28.44 in the 50m backstroke; and UBC's 400m free relay touched in 3:44.01.
February 21, 2003
25 meter pool
1. Erin Gammel, University of Calgary, 28.44 NR
2. Kelly Stefanyshyn, UBS, 29.13
3. Caitlin Meredith, UBC, 29.35
1. Emma Spooner, University of Calgary,1:10.35
2. Kristy Cameron, Univ. of Calgary, 1:11.19
3. Shannon Frey, University of Alberta,1:11.29
1. Kelly Stefanyshyn, UBC, 1:01.01
2. Sara Alroubaie, Univ. of Manitoba, 1:01.15
3. Elizabeth Collins, UBC, 1:01.21
1. Sophie Simard, Universite Laval, 1:58.25
2. Carla Guerts, U. of New Brunswick, 1:58.50
3. Elizabeth Collins, UBC, 1:59.68
1. Liz Warden, University of Toronto, 4:38.21 NR
2. Carrie Burgoyne, Univ. of Calgary, 4:43.91
3. Melanie Bouchard, Universite Laval, 4:50.15
4X100 freestyle relay
1. UBC, 3:44.01 NR
2. University of Calgary, 3:49.76
3. Universite Laval, 3:50.75
1. Alexandre Pichette, McGill, 25.41
2. Jean-Fran‡ois Langlais, Univ. Laval 25.57
3. Steve Preston, Universit‚ Laval, 25.78
1. Matt Mains, Waterloo, 1:01.52
2. Gerard Hunter, Univ. of Lethbridge, 1:01.98
3. Matthew Huang, UBC, 1:02.12
1. Chad Murray, University of Calgary, 53.60
2. Jean-Fran‡ois Langlais, Univ. Laval 54.45
3. Jesse Jacks, Victoria, 54.54
1. Mark Johnston, UBC, 1:46.16
2. Brent Hayden, UBC, 1:47.32
3. Chad Hankewich, Univ. of Regina, 1:47.84
1. Brian Johns, UBC, 4:02.72 WR
2. Cameron Hyder, UBC, 4:22.72
3. Roland Bauhart, UBC, 4:26.19
4X100 freestyle relay
1. UBC, 3:17.53 NR
2. McGill, 3:24.08
3. Dalhousie University, 3:24.66