Quebec Cup: Victoria Poon Breaks Canadian Record

MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada, June 19. VICTORIA Poon of Montreal surprised herself, Friday as she broke the Canadian record in the women's 50-metre butterfly at the Canada Cup swimming competition.

Poon, one of Canada's top sprint freestylers, clocked 26.71 seconds and eclipsed one of the oldest national marks in the books. The previous record was 27.17 set by Shona Kitson of Edmonton in 2000. Margaret Kelly of the U.S., was second in the race in 27.53 and her compatriot Caitlin Dauw was third in 27.56.

"I truly am surprised," said Poon, who is coached by Benoit Lebrun of the Club de natation piscine du parc olympique (CNPPO) which is hosting this weekend's event at the Olympic Park Pool. "It's an event I hardly train for and I raced it today to work on my start. But I'm comfortable racing in my own pool and got some confidence in the preliminaries."

Poon also holds the national record in the 50 freestyle which she established last year at the same pool during the Olympic trials.

While Poon, 24, is an established veteran, 15-year-old Amanda Reason of Windsor, Ont., and now training out of Etobicoke showed why she is one of Canada's brightest young stars nearing her Canadian mark in a victory in the women's 50 breaststroke.

Reason clocked 31.34 seconds just off her 31.25 record set last year. Olympic finalist Annanmay Pierse of Vancouver was second in 31.55 and Marie-Soleil Jean-Lachapelle of Montreal was third.

"I was pretty pleased with the time considering I'm not fully prepared," said Reason who is coached by Kevin Thorburn. "I've been working on the start especially my dive and it was O.K. My stroke was a little different, it was higher in the water which wasn't very effective."

Other winners in women's competition included Geneviève Saumur of Montreal in the 200 freestyle, Julia Wilkinson of Stratford, Ont., in the 200 individual medley and Gabrielle Soucisse of Montreal in the 100 backstroke.

On the men's side victors included, Mathieu Bois of Montreal in the 50 breaststroke and Charles Francis of Montreal in the 100 backstroke.

Competition continues Saturday featuring American superstar Michael Phelps in the men's 100 butterfly and Pierse in the women's 200 breaststroke. The preliminaries start at 9 a.m. and finals are at 6 p.m.

Results

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