Darragh fastest to join busy Commonwealth finals for Canada
Swimming Canada – GOLD COAST, Australia – Mack Darragh of Oakville, Ont., got Canada off to a fast start on Day 3 at the Commonwealth Games Saturday in Gold Coast, Australia.
Darragh moved through the 200-m butterfly heats with the top seed, just off his Canadian record with a 1:56.96.
“It’s pretty special, being in lane four at an international meet. I am pretty pumped and I am looking forward to tonight,” said Darragh, who holds the Canadian record of 1:56.87. “I didn’t plan to go that fast. I went in this morning just hoping to make it back.”
Paralympic superstar Aurelie Rivard advanced to the final of the women’s SM10 200-m individual medley in second. Her time of 2:32.90 was behind only Sophie Pascoe of New Zealand (2:27.26). Pascoe won the Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medal – one of nine in her career – ahead of Rivard, who had three golds to go with 200 IM silver at those Games and was Canada’s flag-bearer for closing ceremonies. Samantha Ryan of Saskatoon advanced in seventh with a personal best 2:44.23, and Katarina Roxon of Kippens, N.L., moved on in eighth at 2:45.77.
Philippe Vachon (Trois-Rivieres, Que.) advanced to the final of the SB8 100-m breaststroke in eighth with a personal best time of 1:30.28
Also advancing to finals was Kierra Smith of Kelowna, B.C., in the women’s 200-m breaststroke (4th, 2:25.33). Mary-Sophie Harvey (Trois-Rivieres, Que.) finished 11th in 2:29.26, and Sarah Darcel (Grande Cache, Alta./High Performance Centre – Victoria) was 13th in 2:29.70.
Saturday morning’s qualifiers will join Canadians Taylor Ruck, Kayla Sanchez, Kylie Masse, Jade Hannah, and the women’s 4×200-m freestyle relay in finals.
Meanwhile in men’s 100-m freestyle, Yuri Kisil of Calgary advanced to semifinals in fifth at 49.06, while his High Performance Centre-Vancouver teammate Markus Thormeyer moved on in ninth at 49.41 to back up his 100-m backstroke bronze from Friday night. Ruslan Gaziev of Toronto’s Markham Aquatic Club finished 19th at 50.04.
Penny Oleksiak of Toronto Swim Club advanced to the women’s 50-m butterfly semifinals with the third seed (25.95), while Rebecca Smith (Red Deer, Alta./HPC-Ontario) moved on in fifth at 26.65.
Finals get underway at 7:30 p.m. local time (5:30 a.m. ET) and will be streamed live on the DAZN platform, which also features on-demand content. CBC, in partnership with DAZN, will be featuring action from the pool during its weekend Road to the Olympic Games program.