Former UBC Thunderbird swimmers Brent Hayden and Scott Dickens led the Canadian men’s 4x100m medley relay team to an eighth place finish at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Hayden and Dickens teamed up with Charles Francis and Joe Bartoch to swim a time of 3:34:19. The team from the United States, which included Michael Phelps, the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, took home gold with a time of 3:29:35.
Francis swam the backstroke leg of the race, followed by Dickens, who swam the breaststroke, and Bartoch, who swam the butterfly. Hayden, who won a bronze medal for Canada in the men’s 100m freestyle event on Wednesday, was the anchor, completing the freestyle portion of the event. On Friday, the Canadian team qualified for the finals with a time of 3:34.46.
This was the final race for both Hayden and Dickens who are expected to retire following the Olympics. Dickens celebrated his 28th birthday today.
“It was an emotional morning,” Dickens tweeted Friday after qualifying for the finals. “I walked out for the relay knowing it may have been my last race ever, making my first Olympic final, a lot of tears of joy.”
Gomez sets a new Canadian record
On the busiest day of the 2012 Games when swimming and athletics events overlap, former TBird Inaki Gomez placed 13th in the 20km men’s race walk event in a time of 1:20:58, setting a new Canadian record.
Ding Chen of China took home the gold medal in the event in a time of 1:18:46.
The previous national record was held by Arturo Huerta, who set the mark by completing a race in 1:21:03 on July 7, 2000 in Toronto.
As a Thunderbird, Gomez won the NAIA outdoor race walk titles three years in a row for UBC (2008, 2009 and 2010). He also earned a silver medal in 2007.
In the year leading up to June’s Canadian Track and Field Trials in Calgary, Gomez met the Olympic A standard three times.
In the lead-up to London, Gomez spent two and a half weeks in St. Moritz, Switzerland training at altitude. He then went to Kamen, Germany for a distraction-free staging camp involving Canada’s track and field Olympians. Gomez arrived in London on Wednesday.
- With files from UBC Athletics
Watch a video interview with Dickens
Watch a video interview with Hayden
Watch a video interview with Gomez