• Ellen McCann wins gold in Digital Products
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Sport Shorts: Cochrane Turning Heads

Bronze: Call it a bounce back. Days earlier at the 2009 World Championships, Ryan Cochrane finished 7th in the 400-metre freestyle. Disappointed with the result, the Victoria native decided to swim the 800-metre event. His strategic, well-paced approach to the race – featuring the world’s best swimmers – won him the bronze medal. Cochrane is one of Canadian swimming’s shining stars right now, after winning Olympic bronze in the 1,500 metres last summer in Beijing. That race, his best, is still to come at “Roma 2009.”

Eight to Seven: It wasn’t a shocking upset, but it was big and re-established the Canadian women’s water polo team as one of the world’s best. A year after missing out on the chance for an Olympic medal, the team defeated Russia in the World Championship semifinals yesterday by a score of 8-7. The goalpost preserved victory, as a Russian striker wired the ball off it in the waning seconds of the match. This was a huge victory for the undefeated Canadians, as Russia won last year’s European Championships. They play in the final on Saturday against the United States, which also won a tight match 8-7 against Greece.

Water-Dynamic: This morning in Rome, Annamay Pierse (Vancouver) had a huge first race in her signature event, the 200-metre breaststroke. Her time of 2:21.68 was a new World Championship record and it was a half-second better than world record holder Rebecca Soni of the U.S. Elsewhere, the women’s 4×200-metre freestyle relay team smashed the Canadian record by six seconds in qualifying for the final that will run tonight in Rome. Montreal’s Audrey Lacroix also lowered the 200-metre butterfly national record in making it to the final. Vancouver’s Brent Hayden propelled his way to the 100-metre freestyle final by winning his semifinal heat posting the fifth-fastest time overall. He is defending world champion in this event.

Update: Annamay Pierse set a new world record in the 200-metre breaststroke in the semifinals in Rome. Her time of 2:20.12 has never been hit before.

Olympian Lee Orr Raced in Berlin: Saskatchewan-born Lee Orr raced the 200 metres at the Berlin 1936 Olympic Games and very nearly took home a medal. In the preliminaries, he finished second behind the legend of that Games, American Jesse Owens. Orr equalled the Olympic record in the quarter-final, securing a place in the semis. In the rain, Orr finished second in his semifinal. The final would feature Owens trying to win a third Olympic medal. There, Orr couldn’t hear the starter well and had a poor start to the race. He recovered but could only push across the finish line in fifth place. Owens, meanwhile, set a new Olympic record in the 200 metres and took home his third gold. The COC extends its condolences to the family of Lee Orr, who passed away on July 24 from cancer.