Double gold for Lili Margitai and Kier Maitland at Speedo Western Canadian Championships

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NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – Lili Margitai and Kier Maitland, both of Edmonton, each collected two individual gold medals on Thursday to open the Speedo Western Canadian Championships swimming competition.

Margitai, a member of Canada’s national junior team, posted victories in the 16 and over age group 50-m butterfly and 200-m freestyle.

In the 50-butterfly she clocked 27.00 seconds with Haley Black of Prince George, B.C.

, second in 27.47 and Jacomie Strydom of Edmonton third in 27.91. In the 200-m freestyle, Margitai finished in 1:58.86 with Olympian Amanda Reason of Calgary second in 1:59.18 and Emily Overholt of West Vancouver third in 1:59.64.

“The 200-freestyle win really standouts for me because the times were very strong,” said Margitai, 16. “I think I’m benefitting from my international experience last year. I felt I dealt with my nerves a lot better tonight.”

In men’s competition, the 25-year-old Maitland triumphed in the 200-m freestyle and 800-m freestyle.

“The 200 was the most exciting win of the two for me,” said Maitland. “I’m more of an endurance swimmer so it was a big challenge for me. I got a lot of motivation from my teammates who were cheering me on. For the 800, anytime you go under eight minutes that’s a good performance.”

Winners in the 16 and under category were Darren Yuan of Saskatoon in the 50-m butterfly, Edwin Zhao of White Rock, B.C., in the 200-m freestyle, Markus Thormeyer of Delta, B.C., in the 100-m backstroke and Ryder McGinnis of Edmonton in the 200-m breaststroke.

In the 17 and over category, other winners were Ben Berg of Red Deer, Alta., in the 50-m butterfly, Hans Heyer of Burnaby, B.C., in the 100-m backstroke and Jeffrey Nicol of Lethbridge, Alta., in the 200-m breaststroke.

Competition continues through to Sunday at the Canada Games Pool. Preliminaries are at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. except on Sunday with finals at 5 p.m.

Full results at https://swimming.ca/liveresults/2014speedowestern/

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Scott Harrigan
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