Canada adds bronze in both men’s and women’s relays

GUAM – Hannah Riordan of Cornwall, Ont., earned more success on international waters on Friday with a silver medal in the women’s 100-metre freestyle at the Junior Pan Pacific swimming championships.

Canada added bronze medals in both the men’s and women’s 4X200 freestyle relays. After two days of competition, the Canadian team has five medals (one gold, silver and three bronze).

In the women’s 100 freestyle, Dagny Knutson of the U.S., won the gold medal in a meet record 55.37 seconds. Riordan pressured the American the entire race taking the silver in a personal best 56.03 while Samantha Tucker of the U.S., was third in 56.08.

“I was surprised with my result,” said Riordan, 17, a silver medallist in the 50 freestyle at the world junior championships last year in Mexico. “My swimming has been a little off this season so I didn’t expect to come so close to breaking the 56 second barrier. Now I hope I can beat it in my relay length this weekend.”

Heather MacLean of Etobicoke, Ont., was fifth.

In the men’s 4X200 freestyle relay, Australia took the gold in 7:17.79 with Japan second in 7:25.42 and the Canadians were third only 0.01 seconds from the silver. The Canadian swimmers were Hassaan Abdel-Khalik of Mississauga, Ont., David Woodman of Calgary, Matthew Swanston of Newmarket, Ont., and Bogdan Knezevic of Etobicoke. It was a second medal for Abdel-Khalik who won the men’s 200 freestyle Thursday.

‘’It was a great medal for our team, we raced really well,’’ said Knezevic, 17, anchoring a national team for the first time in his career. ‘’When I went in the water, the only thing on my mind was finishing ahead of the Japanese. I really fed off the excitement of the crowd and my teammates to finish strong and make it really close.’’

In the women’s 4X200 freestyle relay, the U.S., was first in 7:58.26, Australia second in 8:04.89 and the Canadians third in 8:05.62 with Alexandra Gabor of Whitehorse, Paige Schultz of Toronto, Sinead Russell of Oakville, Ont., and MacLean. It was a second podium trip for Russell who earned bronze in the 100 backstroke Thursday.

‘’We were really excited to get on the podium,’’ said MacLean. ‘’When I dove in I knew it was going to be a very quick anchor run. It was really tough to hold off the other swimmers. Because there’s so much emotion in a relay you tend to go out too fast but I was able to keep my composure and produce a really strong finish.’’

Other Canadian finalists for the men were Knezevic fifth in the 100 breaststroke, Abdel-Khalik sixth in the 100 freestyle and Nicholas Sinclair of Victoria eighth in the 400 individual medley. For the women, Amanda Reason of Windsor, Ont., and Ashley McGregor of Pointe-Claire, Que., fifth and seventh in the 100 breaststroke and Geneviève Cantin of Quebec City seventh in the 400 IM.

Competition continues Saturday.