Canada

Canadian swimmers shatter national record with 9th medal at worlds | CBC Sports

Canadian swimmers broke a national record for podium appearances at a single world championships with two more medals on Friday.

And 19-year-old Josh Liendo was at the heart of both.

After capturing individual bronze in the men’s 100-metre butterfly, Liendo led off the 4×100 mixed freestyle relay team that won silver, giving Canada its ninth medal (two gold, four silver, three bronze) in Budapest, Hungary.

The previous mark of eight (two gold, six bronze) was set at 2019 worlds.

Penny Oleksiak, already Canada’s most decorated Olympian ever, also matched the country’s individual record at worlds with her eighth career podium appearance after racing the anchor leg of the relay. The total ties Ryan Cochrane, who competed at worlds five times.

“I’m really lucky to be part of this team and it’s growing so fast and I feel like I keep saying that every year, but we’re just getting faster so it’s always exciting,” Oleksiak said after the race.

All eight of the Toronto native’s medals (two silver, six bronze) have come in relays, where she showed her prowess once again.

WATCH | Oleksiak anchors Canada to silver medal:

Silver in 4x100m freestyle gives Canada a national record 9th medal at swim worlds

Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez, Javier Acevedo and Josh Liendo swam to a silver medal in the 4×100-metre mixed freestyle relay, giving Canada its ninth medal (two gold, four silver, three bronze) at the 2022 FINA world championships in Budapest. Canada’s previous record of eight medals (two gold, six bronze) was set at the 2019 worlds.

After Liendo got the Canadians off to a third-place start, Javier Acevedo and Kayla Sanchez ensured the team stayed there for its closer in the non-Olympic event.

“I wasn’t thinking about how I was feeling,” Liendo said of his third final of the day. “I was just thinking about going fast doing it for my team. I was hurting a little bit but I gave it everything I had so I’m proud.”

Oleksiak, 22, provided her trademark finishing kick, overtaking American counterpart Claire Curzan to push Canada into the silver medal with a national-record time of three minutes 20.61 seconds.

Australia won gold in a world-record time of 3:19.38, while the U.S. settled for bronze in 3:21.09.

WATCH | Relay team on record-setting race:

Canada’s silver medal team in the mixed 4×100-metre freestyle relay speak of the achievement

Watch Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez, Josh Liendo and Javier Acevedo post race interview after winning silver in Budapest.

Liendo, who also took bronze in the 100 freestyle, will stand on his third podium of the meet.

He took a page out of Oleksiak’s book en route to his latest bronze medal. The Markham, Ont., native touched the 50-metre mark in fourth place, but saved his best for last.

His split time in the back half of the race only trailed gold medallist Kristof Milak of Hungary and silver medallist Naoki Mizunuma of Japan.

Liendo’s time of 50.97 seconds was also just three one-hundredths back of Mizunuma. Milak dominated the entire race and flirted with the world record before winning gold in 50.14 seconds.

WATCH | Liendo bursts to bronze in 100m butterfly:

Josh Liendo claims 100m bronze for his 2nd medal at FINA world championships

Josh Liendo of Markham, Ont., won bronze in the men’s 100-metre butterfly at the FINA world championships in Budapest on Friday, just two days after capturing his first career world championship medal by taking bronze in the 100-metre freestyle.

Just over 30 minutes before the 100 butterfly, Liendo missed out on another potential medal by just 0.04 seconds, placing fifth in the 50 freestyle.

The Canadian qualified with the third-fastest time at 21.73 seconds, and improved to 21.61 seconds in the final.

Yet he was left on the outside looking in, as Benjamin Proud of the U.K. won gold in 21.32 seconds, American Michael Andrew scored silver in 21.41 seconds and France’s Maxime Grousset snuck into the bronze-medal position at 21.57 seconds.

Canada could extend its medal record on the final day of swimming competition Saturday when 15-year-old Summer McIntosh, who already has a medal of each colour, swims the women’s 400 individual medley while Canada’s men’s and women’s 4×100 medley relay teams compete as well.

Live coverage begins at 12:05 p.m. ET on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

Masse falls short

Meanwhile, Kylie Masse fell short in her bid for a third medal in Hungary that would have eventually tied her with Oleksiak with eight on her career.

Masse, who won silver in the 200 backstroke at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fifth in the discipline and well off the podium in a time of two minutes eight seconds.

The 26-year-old from LaSalle, Ont., started among the leaders, touching after the first 50 metres in third place. But she continually slowed from there, even falling from fourth into fifth during the final length in the pool.

Australia’s Kaylee McKeown won gold in 2:05.08, while Americans Phoebe Bacon and Rhyan White took silver and bronze in 2:05.12 and 2:06.96, respectively.

It’ll still go down as a successful worlds for Masse, who won her first career gold medal in the 50 backstroke and took silver in the 100 backstroke.

WATCH | The significance of Lane 4:

Do you know why lane 4 is significant in swimming?

Athletes are assigned different lanes in a swim final and where they are placed can give insight into who stacks up against who. Jacqueline Doorey explains.

Alvarez out of competition

Anita Alvarez, the American artistic swimmer who was rescued by her coach after fainting in the pool on Thursday, did not participate in the team event on Friday.

FINA, the sport’s governing body, said “she should not compete” in light of the incident.

“The health and safety of athletes must always come first. While FINA understands why this decision will have been disappointing to the athlete, it was a decision that was made with her best interests in mind.”

The American team doctor had said she was “very confident” Alvarez would have been OK to compete.

WATCH | Swimmer saved by U.S. coach after fainting in pool:

U.S. coach dives in after swimmer who fainted, sank to bottom of the pool

Coach Andrea Fuentes dove in after artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez after the American fainted during her performance and sank to the bottom of the pool.

Elsewhere, the Canadian men’s water polo team was conditionally removed from the tournament after multiple positive COVID-19 tests. 

The team could return to play in the seeding brackets on Monday, barring further positive tests and provided the isolation period of affected athletes is completed.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(CBC)
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