Canadian swimmer Sydney Pickrem set a personal best on the way to collecting a silver medal Monday, covering the women’s 200-metre medley in two minutes 8.56 seconds at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
She finished 1.51 seconds behind American Sarah Douglass (2:07.05) and 45-100ths of a second ahead of 18-year-old Chinese athlete Yu Yiting.
Pickrem beat Yiting with a 2:08.76 effort in Sunday’s semifinals, only 15-100ths off her previous best of 2:08.61 from the Canadian swim trials last March.
“It’s crazy how many times I’ve gone 2:08, 2:09,” Pickrem said on the weekend, “but I’ve been in different stages of my life. … I feel really confident where I’m at as a human and as a swimmer.”
WATCH | Pickrem picks up world silver medal in women’s 200-metre IM:
Eleven months ago, Pickrem withdrew from worlds in Fukuoka, Japan with what she’d called “crippling anxiety and depression.”
“I definitely had bad years and bad days and struggle with my mental health throughout the years,” Pickrem told The Canadian Press in October. I don’t think this was necessarily the first time. Sometimes I almost forget, once I’m doing well, to still check in and take care of myself.
“Someone asked me ‘is that all behind you?’ and I’m like depression and anxiety will never be behind me. It’s going to be something I always have for the rest of my life, but I embrace it and I want to tackle it and be the best me I can be.”
Four months ago, Pickrem won double gold at the Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile, where the 26-year-old took the women’s 200 breaststroke and 200 medley in a Games record 2:09.04.
She is a dual Canadian-American citizen who was born in Florida and whose family is from Halifax.
Five days out from the Pan Am opening ceremony, the two-time Olympian won the women’s 200 IM at a World Cup meet in Athens.
WATCH | CBC Sports’ Devin Heroux, Brittany MacLean preview aquatics worlds:
Canada’s women fall to Spain in water polo
Canada still has a chance to qualify for the women’s Olympic water polo tournament this summer, despite Monday’s 12-9 quarterfinal loss to Spain, the reigning Olympic and world silver medallists.
After Hungary downed the Netherlands in a penalty shootout, the Canadians needed Greece to beat Italy, and it delivered with a 14-12 decision.
So, Canada will secure a Summer Games berth in Paris if:
- It defeats Australia and Italy loses to the Netherlands in Wednesday’s classification matches at 4 a.m. ET and 6:30 a.m., respectively.
- If it beats Italy in a 5/6 placement match Friday at 8 a.m. should Canada and the Italians win Wednesday.
- It beats Italy in a 7-8 placement match Friday at 2 a.m. should Canada and the Italians each lose Wednesday.
Italy advances if it’s victorious Wednesday and Canada loses to the Australians.