Canada’s Kylie Masse wins silver in the 200-meter backstroke

TOKYO – Minutes after giving everything to add another Olympic medal to her collection, Kylie Masse was still trying to catch her breath.






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The 25-year-old Ontarian won silver in the 200-meter backstroke on Saturday at the Tokyo Aquatics Center, four days after also winning silver in the 100-meter.

Masse was a two-time world champion in the 100m, her specialty. The 200 was a project she had been working on for several years.

“It’s fun and it’s painful. It’s a lot more painful than the 100-meter, said Masse between deep breaths. It hurts, but you have to keep pushing and be confident that the hard work in training will pay off. ”

Saturday’s race was similar to the 100m final. Masse set the pace early in the race, but she was barely edged out by Australia’s Kaylee McKeown at the very end.

Masse improved his own Canadian record with a time of two minutes 5.42 seconds. McKeown crossed the distance in 2: 04.68. Australian Emily Seebohm completed the podium with a time of 2: 06.17.

“I know I have high expectations of myself, but I’m very happy to be on the podium for the second time at the Olympics,” Masse said.

“I knew it was all going to be in the last leg,” said the swimmer from LaSalle, Ont. From what I felt, my swimming pace slowed down at the end. ”

Video: Swimmer Penny Oleksiak among Canada’s most successful Olympians (Le Devoir)

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Her medal was the fifth for the Canadian women’s swim team in Tokyo.

Maggie Mac Neil won gold in the 100m butterfly, the 4x100m freestyle relay took silver and Penny Oleksiak took bronze in the 200m freestyle.

“I don’t think we’re going to fully realize what we’ve accomplished until we get home and can take a step back,” Masse said.

With two medals each, Masse, Mac Neil and Oleksiak will have the opportunity to add another to their harvest on Sunday with the presentation of the mixed medley relay.

A sixth medal would match the Canadian team’s performance at the pool at the Rio Games in 2016.

Masse had won bronze in the 100m backstroke in Rio, but did not qualify for the 200m at the Canadian trials.

Taylor Ruck of Kelowna, BC, was sixth in the 200 backstroke on Saturday in what was her last career Olympic race.

When the University of Toronto closed its swimming pool due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Masse joined Ruck’s training group at the Pan Am Sports Center in Toronto.

“She pushed me every day in training and she definitely contributed to my success,” Masse said.

Brent Hayden of Mission, BC, tied for ninth in the men’s 50 freestyle and did not advance to the final.

The 37-year-old swimmer had come out of retirement to compete in the Tokyo Games, after winning bronze in the 100m freestyle in 2012 in London.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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