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LONDON - Richard Weinberger put the open-water swimming world on notice with a powerful performance at the London Games.
The 22-year-old Surrey, B.C., native won bronze Friday in the men's 10-kilometre marathon swim to give Canada its first medal in the sport.
Weinberger was ecstatic after keeping pace with the leaders and holding off former world champion Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece, who finished fourth.
"You've just got to have fun," said Weinberger. "That's pretty much my position going into every single race. I'm here to have fun, I'm here to race these guys and compete, but racing is just the best.
"Training is hard and this is like Christmas morning."
Weinberger was 5.2 seconds behind Mellouli, who finished in 1:49:55.1, held in the Serpentine in London's Hyde Park.
The bronze is the latest in a string of high-profile results for Weinberger. He was first at the London Games test event last summer, then won gold at the Pan American Games in October.
Open-water racing is still a young sport at the Olympics. It made its debut in 2008 in Beijing, but Canada didn't qualify any swimmers then.
In other Canadian results:
— Halifax kayaker Mark de Jonge won his heat in the K-1 200 metres to advance to the final.
— Hugues Fournel of Lachine,Que., and Ryan Cochrane of Windsor, Ont., finished fourth in the K-2 200 to earn the last berth in the final.
— Emilie Fournel of Lachine, failed to advance to the women's K-1 200 final.
— Jason McCoombs of Dartmouth, N.S., was fourth in his C-1 200 canoe semifinal and missed out on a spot in the final.
— Karine Sergerie of Sainte-Catherine, Que., advanced to the quarter-finals in her women's taekwondo under-67 kilogram match against Azerbaijan's Farida Azizova.
— Sebastien Michaud of Quebec City lost his opening taekwondo match against Arman Yeremyan of Armenia in the men's under-80 kilogram class.
— Matthew Gentry of Burnaby, B.C., was defeated by Jordan Burroughs in men's 74-kilogram freestyle wrestling's quarter-finals.
— David Tremblay of Montreal fell to Turkey's Ahmet Peker in the men's 55-kilogram freestyle wrestling's round of 16.
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