Stage is set for Kylie Masse to chase third straight world 100-m backstroke title
BUDAPEST, Hungary – Kylie Masse is set to chase a third consecutive title in the women’s 100-m backstroke after ranking second in both the preliminaries and semifinals on Sunday at the FINA World Swimming Championships.
Masse, from LaSalle, Ont., and based at the High Performance Centre – Ontario, clocked the second fastest time in both the preliminaries and semifinals winning her heats in 58.89 in the morning and 58.57 in the evening.
Regan Smith of the U.S. was the fastest qualifier for the final in 57.65. Masse finished ahead of Smith to win the silver at the Olympic Games last summer. In the semi, Masse was under the world record split at the turn at 28 seconds even.
‘’I’m happy to be getting through but I wasn’t expecting to go out that fast (in the semis),’’ said Masse, 26, a triple medallist in Tokyo last summer including the silver in the 100 back. ‘’It wasn’t necessarily what I was planning to do in that race.
‘’I’ll look at what I can improve upon. It will be stacked field as usual in the final. I look forward to the challenge.’’
In the prelims, Taylor Ruck of HPC-Ontario missed a berth for the semis by a mere 0.01 seconds placing 17th in 1:01.14.
Mary-Sophie Harvey of Montreal went for broke to get a third medal for Canada in the women’s 200-m individual medley final and took eighth spot in 2:12.77. Canadians took two silvers on Saturday to open the worlds.
Harvey had ranked fourth in the prelims and semis Saturday with personal best times.
‘’I can’t really be mad because it was my first final at the worlds,’’ said a tearful Harvey, 22, also a member of the 2017 world team. ‘’It was a step in the right direction but not the time and placing I was aiming for. I made my first senior final and I look forward to the future.’’
Also not advancing from prelims for the women were U.S. based Abby Dunford and Katrina Bellio of Mississauga, Ont., 17th (16:46.01) and 19th (16:54.55) in the 1500-metre freestyle and U.S. based Sophie Angus 24th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.76.
For the men, Javier Acevedo of Toronto was 22nd in the 100 back in 54.97 and Ruslan Gaziev of Toronto 25th in the 200-m freestyle in 1:48.20.
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
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