Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Van Landeghem falls a little short

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THE slimmest of margins kept Winnipeg swimmer Chantal Van Landeghem from qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The 18-year-old pool phenom, a rising star on the Canadian national swim team, missed out from booking her ticket to England by 0.01 seconds in the 50-metre freestyle at the Olympic swimming trials in Montreal Sunday evening.

Van Landeghem, the 2011 Manitoba female athlete of the year, finished second in the final with a time of 25.28 in the sprint, well back of Canadian record holder Victoria Poon, who posted a time of 25.03 to qualify for the event.

The Olympic qualifying standard is 25.27 seconds.

Van Landeghem, who trains with coach Tom Hainey out of the Manta Swim Club, also fell short in her bid to qualify for the 100-metre freestyle earlier in the weekend, failing to reach the final. She bounced back in a big way for the 50-metre freestyle event, coming unbelievably close to making her first Olympic appearance.

Winnipeg didn't leave the Montreal swim trials empty-handed, though.

Rhea Schmidt, who represented Canada at the 2004 Paralympic Summer Games in Athens, earned a nomination for a spot on the national Paralympic swim team Sunday.

The 25-year-old has met the qualifying standards for the 50-metre freestyle, the 100-metre freestyle, and the 100-metre breaststroke, but will have to wait until June to learn if she will be a part of the Canadian Paralympic Swim Team, as other countries have yet to hold qualifiers for the London Games.

Despite that possible snag on her status (as qualifying spots may be grabbed by other swimmers from other countries), Schmidt's coach, Vlastic Cerny, said the swimmer should be in a good position for a trip to London later this year.

-- Adam Wazny

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 2, 2012 C2

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