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FUKUOKA, Japan – Toronto’s Josh Liendo qualified for two finals while Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont., continued to build on her legendary status Friday at the World Aquatics Championships.

Liendo advanced to both the 100-metre butterfly and 50 freestyle finals. Meanwhile Masse reached the women’s 200 backstroke final, marking the second straight worlds she’s qualified in all three backstroke distances.

Canada had one finalist in action on Friday as Kelsey Wog of Winnipeg placed eighth in in the women’s 200 breaststroke in 2:25.21.

“I definitely would have liked to be a bit faster but it’s always a good experience being in a final,’’ said Wog, in her third straight worlds final in the event. ‘’I definitely want to be placing higher in the final in the future.’’

Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa was the victor in 2:20.80 with Kate Douglass of Team USA second in 2:21.23 and Tes Schouten of the Netherlands third in 2:21.63.

“I definitely feel like I’ve hit the upswing the last two or three months and I just hope to keep that momentum going forward into next season,’’ added Wog.

Liendo qualifies for two finals, Masse also advances

Liendo started his evening winning his semifinal heat and ranking third overall in the men’s 100 butterfly to qualify for Saturday’s final in 50.75.  

Dare Rose of the U.S. topped the field at 50.53 followed by Maxime Grousset of France at 50.62.

Ilya Kharun of Montreal, fourth in the 200 fly with a Canadian record, missed the cut by 0.05 seconds ranking ninth with his second personal best of the day (51.22.)

“I guess it was fine because I dropped (my time), but definitely disappointing getting ninth place,’’ said Kharun, 18, ‘’I’ve definitely got to get faster that’s for sure. I’m happy for Josh that he made it to the final, hopefully he gets into that top-three.”

About 30 minutes later, Liendo snuck into the 50 free final ranking eighth in 21.88, making the cut by 0.03 seconds. He will not swim the final after scratching to focus on the 100 fly.

“I’ve done doubles multiple times and want to keep getting better at it as my career progresses,’’ said Liendo.  “I’m just having fun and racing hard. Obviously I’m in the fight with those guys, that’s what I like and that’s what I did.”

In the women’s 200 backstroke, Masse reached her third final of the week qualifying fifth in 2:08.51. 

“I got the job done, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow night and hopefully improving on that,’’ said Masse, an eight-time world championship medallist (including relays) in addition to her four Olympic medals.

Over the last four World Aquatics Championships, Masse has reached the final in 10 of 11 races in backstroke events. The last swimmer to reach all three women’s backstroke finals at two straight worlds was Australian Emily Seebohm in 2015 and 2017.

“I’m just taking it day by day, making sure I get the proper recovery and rest that I need to set myself up well for the next race,’’ said Masse, 4th in both the 100 and 50 earlier in the week.

In the women’s 50 fly, veteran Katerine Savard of Pont-Rouge, Que., clocked her fastest time since 2016 and fourth best of her career with a 25.98 for 12th.

“I’m really proud of that,’’ said the three-time Olympian. ‘’God knows I’ve done a lot of 50 flys in my life so I’m super proud of this one. I was just really happy to be here, to have the opportunity, to have my name on my bib and everything. I’m really grateful for that.’’

Fastest men’s 4×200 free for Canada since 2009

In the morning preliminaries, Canada’s men’s 4×200 freestyle relay ranked 12th in 7:10.67. That’s Canada’s fastest time since 2009 and a two-second improvement on last year’s Commonwealth Games.

The swimmers for Canada were Ruslan Gaziev of Toronto, Patrick Hussey of Beaconsfield, Que., Finlay Knox of Okotoks, Alta., and Javier Acevedo of Toronto.

“I wish I’d gone a little faster to get a better time for the team, but overall I’m right on my best time so can’t complain too much,’’ said Hussey. “I think there’s still room for improvement, especially for myself. The other guys were really fast. I think we can go faster but it’s a good spot for now.”

Hussey and Knox both had their career best relay splits (1:48.33 and 1:47.57).

“It’s always incredible swimming as part of the relay with Team Canada, especially with three guys that are arguably better than me at the 200 free,’’ said Knox, known for his 200 individual medley. ‘’So, not that there was pressure, but having to deliver under these circumstances and just giving it everything. I think the race showed that I left everything in the pool.’’

Emma Finlin of Edmonton clocked a personal best 8:36.47 for 18th in the women’s 800 freestyle.

“I was really nervous,’’ said Finlin. ‘’I get really nervous at big meets like this, so I think my nerves actually helped me. I usually struggle to go out fast but I just kind of went out and if I died, I died, but I think I held it pretty well.”

Finlin, who also swam open water and qualified in the 1,500, was a late addition to replace the injured Mabel Zavaros in the 800.

“I was definitely very nervous because I only expected to do the 1,500 but I’m super grateful that I got the opportunity to do that.”

Margaret Mac Neil of London, Ont., the silver medallist in the 100 butterfly Monday, ranked 19th in the 50 fly prelims in 26.33.

Viewers can catch the action live via the free CBC Gem steaming service,, and the CBC Sports App for iOS and Android devices, and watch broadcast coverage on CBC TV as part of CBC Sports weekend programming throughout the competition.

CBC Sports’ Devin Heroux is in Japan poolside keeping audiences up-to-date on the latest news and posting social videos daily.

Events are being live streamed across CBC Sports digital platforms, with a live swim show hosted by Anastasia Bucsis streaming daily on CBC Gem beginning Sunday for all final events. Finals start at 7 a.m. ET each day.

Full team list:

Schedule and results: Competition Results | AQUA Official
 Nathan White
Associate Director, Communications
Directeur associé, communication
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