Pan Am gold for Ancaster swimmer Dickens

Ancaster’s Scott Dickens earned Canada’s first gold in swimming at the Pan Am Games on Wednesday with a dramatic victory in the men’s 100-metre breaststroke. Mathieu Bois of Longueuil, Que., completed a spectacular comeback for the bronze in the same race.

Canada added silver in the women’s 4X200 freestyle relay. Canada has a gold, a silver and four bronze in the swimming competition so far.

Dickens, now based in Vancouver, clocked a personal best 1:01.20 for the victory. Mark Gangloff of the U.S., the defending champion and an Olympic relay gold medalist, led at the turn and took second at 1:01.24. Bois surged from sixth at the turn to grab the bronze in a personal best 1:01.83.

“I was just trying to get on the podium, I wasn’t even thinking of winning,” said Dickens, 22, fourth in the event at the 2003 Pan Games. “I was just trying to stay with Gangloff. With 75 metres to go I had caught him and I was feeling a lot of pain. But I just kept going. It’s a big surprise.”

Last year Dickens struggled through the effects of a concussion which disrupted his training.

“I’ve come to these Games in the best shape of my life,” he said. “I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. But today it wasn’t about the time, it was about the racing.”

On Saturday Tanya Hunks of Brantford, was third in the women’s open water race.