Kierra Smith leads Canada at Mare Nostrum with gold in 100-metre breaststroke | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kierra Smith leads Canada at Mare Nostrum with gold in 100-metre breaststroke

June 04, 2016 - 3:04 PM

MONTE CARLO - Canadian Kierra Smith won the women's 100-metre breaststroke on Saturday at the Mare Nostrum Tour meet.

Smith won in one minute 8.94 seconds. The 22-year-old Kelowna, B.C., native's gold medal was one of five top-five results from Canadians. Alberta teens Rebecca Smith (100-metre butterfly) and Ingrid Wilm (200-metre backstroke) each finished fourth. Alexia Zevnik (also 200-metre backstroke) and Luke Reilly (men's 200-metre individual medley) were each fifth.

Kierra Smith led by two-10ths of a second at the turn as she topped a medal podium with Malaysia's Jinq-En Phee (1:09.18, silver) and Spain's Marina Garcia Urzainqui (1:09.18, bronze).

"My 100 breaststroke technique is not as strong as my 200, so I have to focus a lot on keeping my arms wide," said Smith, who is headed to Rio in each event. "I did a good job of that today. (National development coach) Ken (McKinnon) looked over the video after both races today and it's something to keep working on during the next two meets.

"This is really good experience for the Olympics, just to work into racing at the international level. It definitely increases my confidence going into the summer."

Rebecca Smith, who is one of Swimming Canada's top prospects for the 2020 Olympics, posted a 59.83-second 100-metre butterfly. The 16-year-old from Red Deer, Alta., was 1.06 seconds shy of the podium.

"It was a good race considering we kept up the training intensity before the meet and did not taper down," said Smith. "It really brought up my confidence. I kept my place in the finals (after having the fourth-fastest time in preliminaries) and took off time from the morning."

In women's 200-metre backstroke, Calgary's Wilm (2:16.19) and LaSalle, Que.'s Alexia Zevnik (2:16.36) traded places in the final lap. Five-times world champion Katinka Hosszu (2:09.58, gold) and seven-times Olympic medallist Kirsty Coventry (2:10.97, silver) led the podium. Zevnik is coming off making a strong bid for an Olympic berth in April.

Reilly, who is swimming each IM in Monaco, finished in 2:03.19, 1.1 seconds shy of the podium. Reilly had a strong Trials in April, but didn't meet the Rio standard.

Sixteen-year-old Taylor Ruck won the women's 200-metre freestyle B final in 2:01.35 to finish ninth. Olympic men's relay team member Evan Van Moerkerke posted a 51.83-second 100-metre freestyle in the B final, good for 15th

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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