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Canada fourth in relay, Ruck advances to final

News –

DOHA, Qatar – Canada just missed a medal in the mixed 4×100 freestyle relay Saturday at the World Aquatics Championships, but will have chances to finish strong Sunday.

All four of Finlay Knox, Javier Acevedo, Taylor Ruck and Rebecca Smith swam faster than their morning heat as Canada finished fourth in a time of 3:23.79.

China won in a time of 3:21.18, followed by Australia (3:21.78) and Team USA (3:22.28).

“This is my first international freestyle mixed relay so it was a cool experience,” said Knox, 23.

The 200-m individual medley champion led off in 48.79 side-by-side with world record holder Zhanle Pan of China, who went 47.29. That’s faster than Knox has ever been in the 100 free, although mixed relay times do not officially count as personal bests.

“I knew he was going to be out quick so I just had to trust my own race. It’s Day 7 of the meet now and quite a few races in so it was hurting a little bit on that back end but I tried everything I could to keep it into the finish,” Knox said.

Acevedo kept Canada in fifth with a split of 47.58, also an unofficial lifetime best.

“It feels good, another 47 and we have now four guys who can go 47, 48 on the men’s relay, and the girls are just building more and more heading into the Olympics,” Acevedo said.

It was a double for Ruck, who half an hour earlier earned herself a lane in Sunday’s 50 free final.

“That was a lot of fun. I love doing relays and doing it mixed is even more fun. I’m trying to savour each relay with my teammates,” said the two-time Olympian, who moved Canada into fourth.

“I think it’s just important to stay in your own lane and I think that’s what I did. I just wanted to really finish strong for the team. These guys got me hyped up and we all went faster than the morning so it was good,” added fellow Olympic medallist Smith, 23.

Ruck’s semifinal swim of 24.72 was good for eighth among qualifiers in the 50 free. Sweden’s Sarah Sjoestroem was fastest at 23.90.

“I’m super pumped. It’s my only individual event so I just want to make Canada proud and rep the Maple Leaf as best I can. Just go out and have fun, I feel like that’s when you do best,” said the 23-year-old Ruck, who anchored Canada to women’s 4×100 freestyle bronze earlier in the meet for her seventh career worlds medal.

Canada has six medals (one gold, one silver, four bronze) at the eight-day championships, which wrap up Sunday at the Aspire Dome in Doha, Qatar.

The men’s and women’s 4×100 medley relays will have a chance to join Ruck in Sunday’s finals, as will Canada’s 400-m individual medley swimmers.

Finals begin at 11 a.m. ET, with live streaming and extensive coverage on, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

Sophie Angus of the High Performance Centre – Ontario finished 12th in the women’s 50-m breastroke. Her semifinal time of 30.87 was just .01 slower than the personal best she set in her morning heat.

“I don’t get to do the 50 very often so it’s just a fun one to work on a little bit of speed. I would have liked to drop a little bit tonight but I think that’s a really good setup going into the relay tomorrow,” Angus said.

The 24-year-old was part of Canada’s bronze medal in the women’s 4×100-m medley relay at last year’s worlds in Fukuoka, which traditionally falls on the final day.

“I think we have a really good opportunity here to get on the podium,” Angus said. “I’m excited to cheer the girls on in the morning and get the job done tomorrow night.”

More than 2,600 athletes representing 201 countries and the World Aquatics Refugee Team

are in Doha to compete in 75 medal events across six aquatic sports.

Live streaming and extensive coverage will run through Sunday on, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem. See the full streaming and broadcast schedule here.

Fans can also follow along on Instagram and X through @CBCOlympics and @SwimmingCanada for highlights throughout the competition.

Full team Canada roster.

Pool swimming schedule and entries.