Canada’s Kylie Masse wins gold in 100m backstroke at World Swimming Championships

Twenty-four hours after Canada’s Maggie MacNeil won gold at the pool, her compatriot Kylie Masse successfully defended her world title in the 100-meter backstroke.
M esse triumphed in his specialty in 58.60 seconds on Tuesday at the Gwangju World Swimming Championships in South Korea. She is only the second athlete in the country to earn two gold medals at two consecutive Worlds after the late Victor Davis of Guelph, Ont.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” said the one who trains at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Linda Kiefer and Byron MacDonald. It was one of my goals here. I am really satisfied. I could not ask for anything more. “

Australia’s Minna Atherton finished second 0.25 seconds behind Masse, ahead of American Olivia Smoliga. Taylor Ruck of Kelowna, BC, was a podium finish.

Kathleen Baker of the US, the world record holder in this event, finished sixth after being tied for the lead at the turn.

“I knew it would be a tough race,” Masse said. The peloton is so strong; I just tried to focus on my corridor and stick to my strategy. After the turn, I gave myself the momentum and speed to finish the last 25 meters as I wanted. ”

The swimmer from LaSalle, Ont., Had also taken the honors of the 100 backstroke at the 2017 Worlds, as well as the bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She is aware that she will be the target in anticipation of the Olympic Games. Tokyo in 2020, but assured that it will not shrink from any challenge.

“I want to continue to improve. I would like to be faster; it’s my goal, “Masse said.

It was Canada’s second gold medal in as many days at the Worlds. MacNeil won the 100 butterfly Monday.

Simona Quadarella of Italy took advantage of the absence of 1500m freestyle champion Katie Ledecky of the United States to clinch the distance victory in 15: 40.89 – well beyond of Ledecky’s world record of 15: 20.48.

Earlier Tuesday, the American star swimmer withdrew from the final due to discomfort. Ledecky also dropped out for the 200 freestyle qualifications.

Germany’s Sarah K√∂hler got the money, ahead of Wang Jianjiahe of China.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s Penny Oleksiak qualified for the 200 freestyle final placing seventh in her semifinal heat.

“I felt very good at the start and I missed it a bit later,” said Oleksiak, who led his semifinal for the first 150 meters. I worked on my first half of the race for all my events. I still need to gain confidence. ”

Sun, still in the controversy

Sun Yang is once again at the center of controversy at the World Swimming Championships. This time, despite himself.

Sun won the 200 freestyle on Tuesday night after Lithuanian Danas Rapsys finished first before being disqualified for a false start.

The Chinese swimmer finished second, but received the gold medal after Rapsys celebrated his victory in the pool.

Sun looked surprised, hiding his face with both hands, but he quickly sat down on the rope in his hallway and lifted both arms to the sky – under a concert of applause and booing.

Japan’s Katsuhiro Matsumoto won the silver medal, while Martin Malyutin of Russia and Duncan Scott of Britain took the third step of the podium.

Sun was again ignored by his opponents on the podium. Scott kept his hands behind his back and refused to shake Sun’s hand, remaining in his corner while the other medalists joined Sun on the top step of the podium for photographers.

Sun, who served a three-month doping ban in 2014, was granted permission to attend the Gwangju Worlds after a hearing before the sports court in September that threatened his career.

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