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Canada’s Taylor Ruck nears world junior record

2015 FINA World Juniors –

SINGAPORE – Canadians Taylor Ruck and Penny Oleksiak will be the top seeds in the women’s 100-m freestyle final and Canada posted two fourth place finishes on Wednesday at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

The 15-year-old Ruck’s performances are major pool talk so far at the competition. She neared the world junior mark in the women’s 100-m freestyle preliminaries clocking a meet record 53.95 just off the 53.84 standard. It is the third fastest time ever by a Canadian woman and the third fastest ever in the world by a 15-year-old, and obviously a 15-17 age group national record.

“Taylor Ruck has come into this meet with a tremendous amount of poise and confidence,’’ said Iain McDonald, senior manager high performance operations for Swimming Canada. ‘’She has served notice that not only will she be a force to be reckoned with at these championships, but also someone to watch for on the international scene in the years to come.”

Later on the Arizona-based Ruck clocked the fastest time in the semis at 54.14 just ahead of an impressive showing by Oleksiak at 54.51.

‘’I did well in the free with the start, underwaters, and breakouts,’’ said Ruck, who raced four times Wednesday. ‘’I’m glad to be going into the final as the top seed. It was a big challenge for me today having so little rest in between my swims.’’

Oleksiak feels she can go faster.

‘’I felt pretty good, however I think there is still room for improvement,’’ said Oleksiak, from Toronto. ‘’To have come second in the semifinals and to be going through to finals in such a good position means a lot to me, mainly because it puts me beside some really fast girls who are going to push me to be better.

The final is on Thursday.

In the women’s 100-m backstroke final, Danielle Hanus of Newmarket, Ont., came within 0.02 seconds of a medal placing fourth. She clocked a personal best and Canadian 15-17 age group record 1:00.44 just behind Bobbi Gichard of New Zealand. Minna Atherton of Australia took the gold with Claire Adams of the U.S. second. Ruck was also in that final and placed sixth.

‘’I was very happy with my performance, I was very pleased to have been able to go a best time,’’ said Hanus. ‘’ The biggest challenge for me was trying to go out under 30 again and trying to hold my stroke together the last 15m into the wall for a good finish. I had a good start and underwater kick, which helped me throughout the race.’’

Javier Acevedo of Ajax, Ont., also neared the podium in the men’s 200-m individual medley clocking fourth in 2:01.91 just 0.08 from third place finisher Sean Grieshop of the U.S. Clyde Lewis of Australia and Daniel Sos of Hungary were 1-2.

‘’I feel like I could have finished a little better and my transition from back to breast could have been faster,’’ said Acevedo. ‘’ It was a very important result for me because of how far I have come in this race over the past year. I have improved by working with others and improving various aspects of my race in general.’’

Canada was fifth in the 4X100-m mixed medley relay with Markus Thormeyer of Delta, B.C., Warren Mayer of Pickering, Ont., Oleksiak and Ruck.

Thormeyer and Acevedo were sixth and eighth in the men’s 100-m backstroke and Olivia Anderson of Etobicoke, Ont., ninth in the women’s 800-m freestyle.


Results: Omega Timing

Live streaming: FINA TV

Canadian team bios: Swimming Canada