BUDAPEST, Hungary – All three of Canada’s individual Olympic medallists from Rio, Penny Oleksiak, Kylie Masse and Hilary Caldwell, will race tonight at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.
Oleksiak, a four-time Olympic medallist will double up on her races tonight, with both the 100-metre freestyle finals and the 50-m butterfly semifinals.
The 17-year-old sprinted to tenth place in this morning’s 50-m butterfly prelims, finishing in 25.87 seconds.
“I was hoping for a little bit faster but honestly I can’t complain,” said Oleksiak. “I’m such a back ender and the 50 doesn’t really give me time to get into the back end of my race, so that makes it a little bit difficult.”
Oleksiak, who trains at the High Performance Centre – Ontario is going into the 100-m freestyle final ranked sixth after Thursday’s semifinals. She became an Olympic champion in this event in Rio.
Kylie Masse and Hilary Caldwell will both race in tonight’s 200-m backstroke semifinals. Masse, who became a world champion and world record holder in the 100-m backstroke on Tuesday qualified fifth in 2:08.30.
“The 100 has always been more of my main focus, but I’ve been working on the 200 more,” said the 21-year-old from Windsor, Ont., who trains at the University of Toronto. “I felt a bit heavy in the water, hopefully after some rest I’ll be ready to go tonight. I’d be happy with a best time.”
Caldwell, a bronze medallist in this event in Rio, finished just behind Masse in 2:08.32, and is ranked sixth going into the semifinals.
“I did what I needed to do,” said Caldwell, who trains at the HPC – Victoria. “It’s a 200 back so it always feels pretty hard.”
Kierra Smith is also racing in tonight’s finals. The Kelowna, B.C., native is going into tonight’s 200-m breaststroke final after qualifying sixth on Thursday.
In the men’s 4×200-m freestyle relay, Canada’s team of Jeremy Bagshaw, Markus Thormeyer, Yuri Kisil and Carson Olafson finished 14th in 7:17.36.
Mackenzie Padington and Olivia Anderson finished 16th and 20th in the 800-m freestyle. Padington, of HPC – Victoria, swam the distance event in 8:40.68, while Anderson, of Mississauga, Ont., finished in 8.43.93.
Katerine Savard of Ponte-Rouge, Que., was 25th in the 50-m butterfly in 26.81.
In the men’s 50-m freestyle, Yuri Kisil of HPC – Vancouver and Alex Loginov of Toronto Swim Club sprinted to 25th and 47th places.
Josiah Binnema of HPC – Vancouver completed the 100-m butterfly in 53.10, good for 34th place.