Years from now Gleb Suvurov can tell his grandchildren about the night he beat Olympic champion Ryan Lochte.
The 20-year-old Calgary resident outraced the five-time Olympic goal medalist in the 50-metre backstroke Saturday at the Mel Zajac Jr. International Canada Cup.
Suvurov will be the first to say the 50 back isn’t one of Lochte’s favourites. And the 28-year-old from Daytona Beach, Fla., is using the meet, being held at the University of British Columbia Aquatic Centre, as training for the U.S. World Championship trials.
Still, a win is a win.
“It felt good,” said Suvurov, who will represent Canada at next month’s World Student Games in Kazan, Russia. “It’s not my best time but I’m happy.
“Lochte really wasn’t tapered.”
Suvurov, who moved to Canada from Russia with his parents six years ago, was timed in 26.39 seconds. Lochte, who won both his races Friday night, was second in 26.52 seconds.
The personable Lochte chuckled when asked about Suvurov now having bragging rights.
“He better not get used to it, for my sake,” he said. “He swam a good race.
“The 50 back, I really can’t say much about it. As far as I’m concerned 50’s should not be in swimming. Too short of an event for me. I need a couple of turns.”
Any frustration Lochte felt over the loss were worked out in the 200-metre individual medley which he won in a meet record time of two minutes 0.15 seconds. Suvurov was third in 2:06.66.
“I just wanted to go out there and race tough,” said Lochte, the world record holder in the 200 IM. “What me and my coach talked about was the race strategy and my stroke technique, hitting the walls right.
“I showed tonight. I am on the right track.”
It also was a good night for Toronto’s Brittany MacLean, who has battled injuries all season. MacLean, who swims at Georgia, won the 400 freestyle in 4:13.32.
“It’s nice to see a good result,” said the 19-year-old who finished seventh in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics. “It’s a pretty decent time for me right now.
“I worked my arms more than normal just because I have a little bit of a weak leg. It felt great all the way through. I’m encouraged and excited to get faster for the summer.”
MacLean began the year with a shoulder problem, then hurt her hamstring while qualifying for the Canadian team that will compete at the World Championships in August.
Prior to the night’s first swim Olympic medalist Brent Hayden was recognized in a special retirement ceremony. The former 100-metre freestyle world champion, and three-time Olympian, was presented with a plaque that contained his swimming history plus photographs and memorabilia.
“It was amazing,” said the 29-year-old who retired after winning a bronze medal at last summer’s London Olympics. “Sometimes I have to remember exactly what it was I accomplished over 10 years.
“It almost brought a tear to me eye.”
Hayden, who was born in Mission, B.C., and attended UBC, remains the Canadian record holder in the 200, 100 and 50-metre freestyle.
Tera Van Beilen of Oakville, Ont., won her second race of the weekend, taking the 200-metre breaststroke in 2:29.51.
“I think I can only get better from here,” said Van Beilen. “This is still within a hard training block. So the fact I am where I am now, despite what happened last week, it’s positive for me. I can only keep smiling as much as I can right now.”
Other women’s races winners included Vancouver’s Noemie Thomas, who took the 100-metre butterfly in 58.78; Calgary’s Ingrid Wilm won the 50 backstroke in 29.58; Tianna Rissling of Redcliff, Alta., won the 200 IM in 2:17.30; and American Natalie Hinds was victorious in the 50 freestyle in 25.87.
Among the men’s winners was Vancouver’s Coleman Allen, who won the 100 butterfly in 54.71; Victoria’s Jeremy Bagshaw the 400 freestyle in 3:53.56; American Bradley deBorde took the 50 free in 23.67; and Andrew Poznikoff, of Drumheller, Alta., the 200 breaststroke in 2:18.44.
The women’s 4x200-metre relay was won by the University of Calgary team of Rissling, Breanna Hendriks, Lindsay Delmar and Fiona Doyle in 8:26.02.
The men’s 4x200 relay was won by the Team Alberta squad of Hunter Balch, Marshal Parker, Anthony Lyons and Jonathan Brown, in 7:40.59.