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Canada’s Taylor Ruck wins two gold and bronze at swimming world juniors

2015 FINA World Juniors –

SINGAPORE – Canada’s Taylor Ruck rocked on Thursday night at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

The 15-year-old won the gold medal in the women’s 100-m freestyle then anchored Canada to victory and a world junior record in the women’s 4×100-m mixed freestyle relay. She opened her busy evening with a bronze in the 100-m backstroke.

In the 100-m freestyle, Ruck lowered her meet record, personal best and 15-17 national age group record to 53.92 seconds for the victory. It is the third fastest time ever by a Canadian woman and the third fastest ever in the world by a 15-year-old.

‘’I feel that it was a good swim,’’ said Ruck who was born in Kelowna, B.C., and now lives and trains in Arizona. ‘’ I did well on the last 25 to keep ahead of everyone. It was an important result because I got first, and I dropped from my best time. It was a challenging day for me with so little time between my swims today.’’

Penny Oleksiak of Toronto took the silver in 54.65 and Arina Openysheva of Russia was third at 54.78.

‎’’I felt pretty good,’’ said Oleksiak. ‘’I think I had a good turn, and I came back well. I’m just happy with my swim. I was pleased with how I managed my three races tonight.’’

Later on, Oleksiak and Ruck completed Canada’s win in the 4×100-m mixed freestyle relay clocking 3:27.71. That eclipsed the previous world junior mark of 3:28.74 set by Australia at the 2013 junior worlds in Dubai. Javier Acevedo of Ajax, Ont., and Markus Thormeyer of Delta, B.C., opened the race for Canada.

‘’We were representing Canada and we showed the world that we are a nation to watch out for, ’’ said Oleksiak. ‘’We kept cheering each other on, and although we had other races we were able to rise to the challenge in the moment.’’

Australia was second in 3:28.59 and Russia third in 3:28.79.

In the women’s 200-m backstroke, Minna Atherton of Australia won a very tight race in 2:09.11. Yaxin Liu of China was second in 2:09.44 and Ruck snared the bronze in 2:09.49. Meryn McCann of Etobicoke, Ont., was fourth in 2:10.34.

‘’I feel that I could have gone faster on the last 50, but I still feel pretty good,’’ said Ruck. ‘’ I felt that I did better on the turns. It let me know that my backstroke is back on track.’’

There was more good news for Canada in semifinal action. Acevedo qualified third for the 50-m backstroke final with a 25.63 clocking as did Oleksiak in the 50-m butterfly (26.80).

‘’It was a good result heading into finals,’’ said Acevedo. ‘’I’m glad that I made finals, because I was seated 12th going into semis.’’

Thormeyer missed a berth in the 50-free by a mere 0.01 seconds.

‘’I feel good about it,’’ said Thormeyer. ‘’It was a lifetime best time, so I’m proud of it and it gave me confidence for the relay.’’

Canada has five medals so far at the event: two gold, two silver and a bronze.

Competition continues Friday.


Results: Omega Timing

Live streaming: FINA TV

Canadian team bios: Swimming Canada