The Canadians celebrated their double gold medal at the world swimming championships on Wednesday with 15-year-old Summer McIntosh winning the 200 butterfly and Kylie Masse winning the 50 backstroke.
Romanian David Popovici continued his impressive championships, winning the 100m freestyle to add to his 200m gold medal. McInstosh won with a time of 2:05.20, beating American Hali Flickinger by 0.88 seconds and the Canadian’s time was a new junior world record and added to her silver medal in the 400m freestyle. China’s Yufei Zhang won the bronze medal.
The Toronto-born swimmer was the youngest member of the Canadian Olympic team in Tokyo where she finished fourth in the women’s 400m freestyle. “I didn’t expect to go 2:05,” McIntosh said. “But as soon as I walked out with all the energy and excitement of the crowd, I fed off of that. I had a lot of adrenaline and motivation and I put it aside.”
Masse was then the first to touch in the 50m backstroke, beating American Katharine Berkoff by eight hundredths of a second with France’s Analia Pigree taking bronze. There was just 0.16 seconds separating the top six swimmers in the race, but Masse (27.31) was stronger in the final strokes to make up for her disappointment at only winning silver in the 100m back where she was seeking a third straight world title in the one event.
The long-awaited battle between the sport’s rising star Popovici and Olympic champion Caeleb Dressel will have to wait after the American withdrew for medical reasons and missed the semi-finals. But Popovici again showed strength and speed even though he left it late to take power ahead of Frenchman Maxime Grousset, winning by six hundredths with a time of 47.58.
Canada clinched another medal with Joshua Liendo Edwards in bronze.
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