Masse continues incredible run of consistency with 100-m backstroke silver
BUDAPEST, Hungary – Kylie Masse’s reign as two-time world champion came to an end by a margin of just 0.18 seconds, but she continued her historic string of podium performances with silver in the 100-m backstroke.
Masse finished her signature race in 58.40 Monday at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, behind only Regan Smith of Team USA (58.22). Fellow American Claire Curzan took bronze in 58.67.
Masse has now won a medal in the event at an incredible 10 consecutive major international competitions dating back to 2015, the longest streak ever by a Canadian woman. She is tied with Penny Oleksiak for most medals all time at the long-course FINA World Championships with six.
“I’m really happy to stand on the podium. It’s always an incredible feeling to compete at World Championships and fight for the podium with these girls – this is something I’m really proud of,” said the LaSalle, Ont., native, who trains at Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre – Ontario.
“It’s not necessarily the time I feel like I’m capable of, and I was a bit frustrated I had a poor touch, but I think after the crazy last couple of years I’m proud to be able to continue to fight to get on the podium. There are so many amazing backstrokers here and in the last couple of years. It’s been a great challenge and I’m continually motivated by them to push myself.”
Meanwhile, Kelowna, B.C., native Taylor Ruck advanced to Tuesday’s final of the women’s 200-m freestyle. Ruck, who late last year spoke publicly about her struggles with an eating disorder, advanced in sixth with a time of 1:56.80 in her semifinal, faster than the 1:57.60 she posted to make the team at Canadian Swimming Trials in April.
“I felt pretty good. I went faster than my goal time. I’m very pleased with my swim, it’s the fastest I’ve been in a while, so I just keep steadily building up and getting faster. I just wanted to be faster than Trials, so that’s done,” Ruck said.
Oleksiak was disqualified in the same semifinal. The High Performance Centre – Ontario swimmer said she knew she had false started before she hit the water.
“I’ve never false started before in my life. Hopefully it never happens again,” Oleksiak said.
In the morning preliminaries, Patrick Hussey of Beaconsfield, Que., made his national team debut with a personal best 2:00.24 to finish 24th in the 200-m butterfly. James Dergousoff of Christina Lake, B.C., was disqualified in the 50-m breaststroke.
Action continues for the 27 Canadian pool swimmers until next Saturday with preliminary heats at 3 a.m. ET / 12 a.m. PT. Finals start at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT daily. All finals will be livestreamed on CBC Sports digital platforms: the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca, and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices.
The world championships run through July 3, with open water swimming to follow the pool competition. Canada won eight medals in the pool (2 gold, six bronze) and one (bronze) in open water at the 2019 edition of the event in Gwangju, South Korea.
Full results: Competition Schedule | FINA Official