After Windsor, Ont., native Kylie Masse delighted her hometown crowd by delivering a silver medal in the 100-metre backstroke, Canada added a surprise bronze in the mixed 4×50-m freestyle relay.
Masse’s time of 56.24 was behind only Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, giving her world short-course silver to go with the Olympic bronze she captured in Rio this summer.
“I knew coming in that it was going to be difficult going from long course to short course. I was just focusing on what I’ve been practising for the past few months after Rio and just tried to do my best here,” said Masse, 20.
The team of Yuri Kisil, Markus Thormeyer, Michelle Williams, and Sandrine Mainville followed up with a Canadian record 1:29.83 capture a bronze medal.
“Getting on the podium, there’s nothing better than that” said Williams. The 24-year-old Olympic medallist from Toronto had been part of two near misses: a disqualification that wiped out a would-be silver in the women’s 4×100-m freestyle relay Tuesday, then a fourth-place finish by 0.02 in the women’s 4×50-m medley to open Wednesday’s final.
“It’s been a couple near misses so to finally get on the podium feels great,” she said.
Morning swimmers Mirando Jarry, Alexia Zevnik and Katerine Savard, who teamed with Kisil to advance to the final, will also receive a medal.
Penny Oleksiak, meanwhile, put Tuesday’s qualification well in her rearview mirror, lowering the Canadian 100-m freestyle record for the second time in a day. Her semifinal time of 52.19 sends her into Thursday’s final tied for top seed. Sandrine Mainville, the pervious record holder, sits fourth with a semifinal swim of 52.58.
“I haven’t really thought about last night at all today, I’m just looking forward,” Oleksiak said. “I’m happy with that. Hopefully I can be faster tomorrow. I like knowing that there’s people there cheering for me”
Masse, Kelsey Wog, Oleksiak and Williams finished fourth in the women’s 4×50-m medley relay by 0.02 seconds in a time of 1:46.00. Masse led off with a Canadian record backstroke leg of 26.49.
Meanwhile, Savard finished seventh in the women’s 200-m butterfly, in 2:07.49, slightly faster than her morning swim.
“It’s my best time since 2011. It’s not my focus event but I know I can do it. I think it will help me finish my 100 stronger (on Saturday). The 200 is not my main goal but the more I do it the more I develop my endurance,” Savard said.
The world short-course championships run through Sunday. The WFCU Centre, home to junior hockey’s Windsor Spitfires, has been converted to house a temporary pool where 933 athletes from 164 countries will compete for 46 gold medals. More than 35,000 spectators are expected to visit the WFCU Centre over the course of the six-day competition.