GOLD COAST, Australia – Taylor Ruck equalled the Canadian women’s record for most medals at one Commonwealth Games with bronze in the women’s 100-m freestyle Monday, her seventh podium appearance.
At the Games so far, the 17-year-old, who trains at Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre-Ontario, has earned gold in the 200-m freestyle, silver in the 50-m freestyle, 200-m backstroke, 4×100-m freestyle relay and 4×200-m freestyle relay and bronze in the 100-m backstroke and 100-m freestyle.
‘’I can’t believe it, I didn’t expect to get all these medals’,” said Ruck, who equals the mark set by Elaine Tanner (1966). ‘’I knew coming in that this was shaping up to be a very good meet for me.’’
In Monday’s 100 free, Bronte Campbell led Australia to a 1-2 finish in 52.27 with sister Cate Campbell second in 52.69 just ahead of Ruck’s 53.08. Penny Oleksiak of Toronto was fifth in 53.85 and Kayla Sanchez of HPC-Ontario seventh in 54.30.
‘’My only strategy was to keep my head down and go as fast as I could,’’ said Ruck. ‘’I was just so proud when I finished to see the Canadians in the crowd standing and cheering.’’
Kierra Smith of Kelowna, B.C., added a silver in the women’s 100-m breaststroke in 1:07.05 with Faith Knelson of HPC-Victoria fourth in 1:07.84. Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa took the gold in 1:06.41 and Georgia Bohl of Australia was third in 1:07.22.
‘’I knew the second length was my strength,’’ said Smith. ‘’If I could try and swim with the girls in the first 50, I’d be able to take it home. After missing the podium in the 200 I was a little bit unsure about this race but I knew I had a medal shot.’’
In other women’s results, Sarah Girard of Montreal and Katarina Roxon of Kippens, N.L., were fourth and sixth in the Para-swimming 100-m breaststroke in 1:23.82 and 1:26.18 and Mabel Zavaros of Oakville, Ont., took sixth in the 200 butterfly in 2:09.20, her second swim of the day under her previous best (2:08.71).
‘’I improved what I wanted in the final,’’ said Girard. ‘’I was more patient with my style. It’s quite an experience here to swim in front of so many people. It’s a bit intimidating in the beginning but tonight I was more relaxed.’’
In men’s results, Jean-Michel Lavallière of Quebec City was fourth in the Para-swimming 50-m freestyle in a Canadian record 30.14. Lavallière lowered the national mark in both the prelims and final. Markus Thormeyer of HPC-Vancouver took fifth spot in the 200-m backstroke in a personal best 1:57.82 and Josiah Binnema of HPC-Vancouver was fifth in the 100-m butterfly in 53.11.
‘’Even though I came fourth, it’s a big victory for me,’’ said Lavallière. ‘’To put out a best time at my age (27) is a big achievement. I know I’m at the back end of my career now.’’
Thormeyer said he surpassed expectations.
‘’To go two seconds faster than in prelims is pretty crazy,’’ he said. ‘’I didn’t expect to go this fast. Even though I was less than a second from a medal, it hurt so much, I can’t be mad.’’
Double gold medallist Kylie Masse of Windsor, Ont./University of Toronto and Jade Hannah of Halifax/HPC-Victoria advanced to the women’s 50-m backstroke final seeded third and eighth in 28.00 and 28.37.
Yuri Kisil of Calgary (HPC-Vancouver) qualified fourth in the 50-m freestyle in a personal best 22.09. Toronto’s Ruslan Gaziev was 14th in 22.80.
Ruck will get an opportunity to tie the all-countries record with an eighth medal on Tuesday in the 4×100-m medley relay.