WINNIPEG — Winnipeg’s Chantal Van Landeghem won a pair of gold medals in the pool at the Pan American Games in Toronto on Tuesday.
Van Landeghem, 21, set new Pan Am Games and Canadian records in winning the final of the 100-metre freestyle event. With a time of 53.83 seconds, Van Landeghem upset 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin of the United States.
Van Landeghem’s second gold medal of the night came in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay. The Manta Swim Club product swam the final leg as Canada edged the United States by just 0.21 seconds. Brazil won the bronze medal.
“I think the crowd got me into it honestly,” the six-foot-three swimmer said. “I kept saying thank you when I got out of the water because they were amazing. They really pushed me the last 15 metres.
“It’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced just because it was on home soil in Canada. Seeing that flag raised, I was just overcome with so much pride.”
Van Landeghem out-touched Coughlin in freestyle by .23 seconds and also and outduelled her on the last leg of the relay.
“My confidence is sky high right now,” Van Landeghem said. “I’ve don’t think it’s ever been this high.
“Beating Natalie is obviously huge, but personally, a best time, that’s all I could ask for. We’re going into worlds in a couple weeks after this to have these performances going into worlds is a huge confidence booster.”
— With files from The Canadian Press