Canada claims bronze at worlds

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

Canada picked up its sec­ond swim­ming medal at the world aquatic cham­pi­onships with a bronze in the 4x100-me­tre mixed med­ley on Wed­nes­day.

Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont., Ed­mon­ton’s Richard Funk, Toronto’s Penny Olek­siak and Cal­gary’s Yuri Kisil set a Cana­dian record with a time of three min­utes, 41.25 sec­onds to tie China for bronze.

The United States won in a world-record time of 3:38.56, fol­lowed by Aus­tralia in 3:41.21.

It’s the sec­ond medal of the cham­pi­onships for Masse. The 21-year-old took gold and set a world record in the women’s 100-m back­stroke 24 hours ear­lier.

“It was such an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence. That mixed re­lay is some­thing I’ve never done be­fore and isn’t of­fered at a lot of meets,” Masse said. “To be able to do it here at world cham­pi­onships was so much fun. To com­pete for other peo­ple as well makes it even bet­ter and is al­most more mo­ti­vat­ing. You get more ex­cited and there’s more en­ergy so it was a re­ally fun ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Masse led off with a time of 58.22 in back­stroke to put Canada sixth. Canada sat sev­enth af­ter Funk’s breast­stroke (59.14) and Olek­siak’s but­ter­fly (56.18).

Kisil then charged past Great Bri­tain, Rus­sia and Italy to vault Canada into the third­place tie.

In the morn­ing heat, Funk teamed with Toronto’s Javier Acevedo, Re­becca Smith of Red Deer, Alta., and Win­nipeg’s Chan­tal Van Lan­deghem, who also re­ceive medals for ad­vanc­ing Canada to the fi­nal by qual­i­fy­ing third. That four­some held the Cana­dian record at 3:44.46 for a few hours be­fore the fi­nal.

“Great team per­for­mance tonight from the ath­letes, coaches and all the staff who pre­pared them,” said Swim­ming Canada high per­for­mance di­rec­tor John Atkin­son.

“We had a great heat swim, the team then worked on what they were go­ing to do in the fi­nal when we switched in three new swim­mers. To come away from a world cham­pi­onships with a bronze medal for seven ath­letes in what is now a new Olympic event in Tokyo is a tremen­dous ef­fort.”

The na­tional re­lay mark was Masse’s sec­ond Cana­dian record of the night.

She shaved 0.03 off her own pre­vi­ous best in the 50-me­tre back­stroke with a time of 27.64, but fin­ished 10th, just 0.04 sec­onds short of earn­ing a spot in to­day’s fi­nal.

Kisil fin­ished 10th in the 100me­tre freestyle semi­fi­nals with a time of 48.50.

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