ATLANTA – It was a memorable night for Canadian swimming sensation Taylor Ruck of Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre-Ontario on Friday as she broke a Canadian record and earned two more victories at the second stop on the U.S. Pro Swim circuit.
In the 200-m freestyle, Ruck clocked one minute and 56.85 seconds to break her previous national standard of 1:56.94 set this past December. Wang Jianjiahe of China was second in 1:57.60 and Ruck’s HPC-Ontario teammates Rebecca Smith and Kayla Sanchez were third and fifth. Oleksiak from Toronto Swim Club finished fourth,
‘’Getting the record was amazing,’’ said Ruck, a double Olympic medallist in Rio. ‘’ I improved mostly on the walls. I just watched my video and I could see how the underwater and turns have improved and my coach could even hear my feet hit the water hard on my third turn.’’
In the 200-m backstroke, the 17-year-old Ruck clocked 2:06.36. Federica Pellegrini of Italy was a distant second in 2:11.28 and Jade Hannah of the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre- Victoria was third in 2:11.49. Aela Janvier of Pointe-Claire was seventh.
‘’That was a world class double,’’ said Martyn Wilby, Swimming Canada’s Senior Coach, Olympic Program about Ruck’s performances. ‘’Just the fact she was able to break the Canadian record on real short rest was amazing. She’s improving all the time in the technical aspects of her swimming and has the confidence to race world-class athletes.’’
It was Ruck’s third victory of the competition. On Thursday she won the 100-m freestyle in 53.73 upsetting world record holder Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden. Also on Thursday, third-place finishes were earned by Oleksiak in the 100-m butterfly and Yuri Kisil of HPC-Vancouver in the men’s 100-m freestyle.
Other finalists Friday for the women were Megan Dalke of Vancouver fifth in the 400-m IM and Sanchez sixth in the 50-m free.
Canadian men finalists Friday were Josiah Binnema of Prince George, B.C. and Markus Thormeyer of Delta, B.C., fourth and fifth in the 200-m backstroke; Colin Eriks of Vancouver fifth in the 400-m IM, Jeremy Bagshaw of Victoria sixth in the 200-m freestyle and Mehdi Ayoubi of Montreal eighth in the 50-m freestyle.
‘’This is the first time we’ve brought three high performance centres together to a swim meet,’’ said Wilby. ‘’Being able to pool our resources with support staff has been great and it’s built a certain amount of synergy amongst the athletes.’’
Competition continues through to Sunday.