MONTREAL, Canada, February 16. FRANCESCO Zuccaro of Etobicoke, Ont., won the gold medal in the men's 800-metre freestyle then helped his Etobicoke Swimming club to victory in the 800 freestyle relay on Thursday to open the Speedo East Nationals Swimming competition.
In the men's 800, Zuccaro clocked seven minutes and 55.87 seconds with world championship team member Andrew Hurd of Toronto in second in 8:02.47 and Ivan Lopez of Montreal third in 8:06.86.
In the 800 freestyle, Zuccaro swam lead-off to propel Etobicoke to victory in 7:30.08 with Hassaan Abdel-Khalik, Oleg Murzenko and Bogdan Knezevic. Pointe-Claire Swim Club was second in 7:38.61 and a second Etobicoke foursome third in 7:43.18.
In the women's 1500 freestyle, Bojana Duric of Etobicoke took the gold in 16:55.44, Samantha Cheverton of Pointe-Claire was second in 16:57.16 and Caitlin Nolan of Etobicoke third in 17:00.60.
In the women's 800 freestyle relay, Montreal's Club de natation piscine du parc olympique were the winners in 8:10.88. The foursome featured world team members Geneviève Saumur and Victoria Poon along with Barbara Jardin and Sasha Menu-Courey.
Etobicoke Swimming was second in 8:11.76 and the Toronto Swim Club third in 8:16.26.
In the preliminaries, Jonathan Blouin of Quebec City was the fastest qualifier for finals in both the 50 butterfly and 50 breaststroke. Alfredo Jacobo of Montreal was the fastest qualifier in the 50 backstroke.
On the women's side top qualifiers for the final were Vanessa Charron of Quebec City in the 50 fly, Michelle Laprade of Montreal in the 50 breaststroke and Gabrielle Soucisse of Beaconsfield, Que., in the 50 backstroke.