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Louie Villanueva

Russell Wood breaks Canadian backstroke record

By Ashton Chugh, April 9 2015

With a time of 25.13 seconds, Dinos swimmer Russell Wood set a new Canadian record in the men’s 50-metre backstroke at the Canadian Trials in Toronto on April 2.

“I’m feeling great,” Wood said. “I’m really excited.”

The Calgary native took a year off from competing with the Dinos to train for the chance of making the Canadian Olympic roster. The 20 year old feels that his performance improves his chances of making the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“I think I’m definitely the front-runner at this point for the backstroke, which is really awesome a year from the Olympics,” he said. “It gives me a lot of confidence.”

Wood’s next challenge will be the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, which take place July 10–26. Wood feels that the home crowd should prove advantageous.

“For Pan Ams, I’m really excited to be competing in a major competition here in Toronto,” Wood said. “The home crowd’s going to be really exciting. I’ve never got to experience that and I’ve heard from people that it’s really exciting, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I’m really looking forward to that.”

Wood also swam a time of 53.96 seconds in the 100-metre backstroke, which ranks him eighth in the world.

The last Canadian swimmer to win a gold medal at the Olympics was Mark Tewksbury, who won it in the 100-metre backstroke at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

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