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September 20, 2000

Women's 4 x 200 free team may pull switch

SYDNEY -- With a little personnel shuffling the Canadian women's 4x200m freestyle team hopes to deal themselves a medal-winning hand.

 Winnipeg swimmer Shannon Shakespeare expects a couple of swimmers, probably Marianne Limpert and Laura Nicholls, to join the team even though they're entered in the women's 100m freestyle semifinal this evening.

 With Shakespeare, Vancouver's Jessica Deglau, Victoria's Katie Brambley, and Waterloo's Jen Button in the morning heats, Canada qualified for the final in 8:07.12 for seventh place.

 "It was a morning swim, they're always tough," said Shakespeare. "We knew we had to qualify top-three and we did. I think the Aussies and Americans are the class of the field, but we're going to fight and battle for the podium.

 "We'll need everybody under two minutes, and I expect some changes to our lineup for the final."

 For Shakespeare, it was a race to shake off the rust and barnacles that have collected since her last race on opening day in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

 "It's hard, I've been trying not to rest too much, because if you do, you won't be able to get up again for this," said the 23-year-old. "We'll have to come out again, and see if we can get this done."

 The women's 4x200 team is Canada's last real hope for a relay medal in the pool.

reprinted with permission

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