Tsawwassen’s Markus Thormeyer made the most of a second chance to break a 10-year-old Canadian record and advance to the 200-metre backstroke final at the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
The 21-year-old will enter Friday’s final with the fifth fastest qualifying time thanks to a semi-final clocking on Thursday of 1:56.96 which eclipsed the previous national record of 1:57.34, set by Matt Hawes in 2009.
Thormeyer initially thought he was on the outside looking in at the two semi-final heats after finishing 17th overall in the morning preliminary swims. Only the top 16 advance. However, he was a late addition after one of the other entries pulled out. He received a text about 90 minutes before the evening session started telling him he was in.
‘’I wasn’t even thinking about the record,’’ said Thormeyer. ‘’I wasn’t even supposed to be here so I just had nothing to lose and went for it. Going a best time by half a second feels great.’’
‘’Didn’t he just make a statement of intent with the way that he swam that race?’’ added High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson.said Atkinson. ‘’To finish second in his semifinal and make the world championships final in fifth position is great.”
Earlier in the week, Thormeyer advance to the semis in the 100 back and went on to finish 11th overall.
— with files from Swim Canada