Kylie Masse helps Canada set record at swimming world championships - InfoNews

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Kylie Masse helps Canada set record at swimming world championships

United States mixed 4x100m freestyle relay team members, from left, Caeleb Dressel, Zach Apple and Mallory Comerford celebrate after winning the gold medal at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Saturday, July 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
July 27, 2019 - 11:24 AM

GWANGJU, Korea, Republic Of - Kylie Masse helped set a Canadian record when she won the bronze medal in the women's 200-metre backstroke on Saturday at the FINA World Championships.

Masse's bronze is Canada's seventh pool medal, the most the country has ever won at the world championships.

Canada now has two gold and five bronze in the pool this week as well as an open water bronze last week for Eric Hedlin. The previous pool mark was six, set in 1978.

Masse, the 100-metre backstroke champion earlier this week, also equals Penny Oleksiak as the most decorated female swimmer at worlds with four career medals and also ties Sydney Pickrem for the Canadian woman with the most individual medals at worlds with three.

In the women's 200-metre backstroke, Regan Smith of the United States reinforced her dominance in the event clocking two minutes 3.69 seconds, 0.34 off her world record set in Friday's semifinal. Kaylee McKeown of Australia won a heated battle for silver in 2:06.26 edging Masse's time of 2:06.62.

"I can't complain," said Masse. "The time is not as fast as I've been but I'm really happy to be on the podium. I'm super happy for Regan and I think it will only push the backstroke field even faster. It definitely motivates me to get back to work and keep improving."

John Atkinson, Swimming Canada's high performance director, praised Masse's consistency in her performances.

"It was a great effort by Kylie on Day 7," said Atkinson. "A lot of credit is also due to her coaches Linda Kiefer and Byron Macdonald at the University of Toronto."

There was hope for another Canadian podium in the mixed 4x100-metre freestyle relay but the foursome came up 0.43 seconds short in a fourth-place finish, still clocking a Canadian record 3:22.54. The Americans set a world record for the victory in 3:19.40, Australia was second in 3:19.97 and France was third in 3:22.11.

Markus Thormeyer, Yuri Kisil, Taylor Ruck and Oleksiak followed in fourth. Oleksiak swam a lifetime best anchor split of 52.00 to move Canada up from sixth but couldn't quite catch France's Marie Wattel despite making up more than a second on her.

"Everyone did a really good job," said Kisil. "I just know from my own swim there's a lot I can improve on. It wasn't the greatest time. I'm just proud of everyone stepping up."

"We tried to race to the best of our abilities," added Ruck. "It was hard, there was a huge waves from both sides and I thought we handled it well."

In the women's 50-metre butterfly final, Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden made it three world titles in a row clocking 25.02 seconds. Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands followed in 25.35 and Farida Osman of Egypt third in 25.47.

Oleksiak took sixth spot in 25.69, just 0.07 seconds off her Canadian record set at the 2017 worlds and the third fastest time of her career.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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