Road To The Olympic Games

Swimming

Swimmer Kylie Masse wins Canada's 4th medal in Rio

Canadian Kylie Masse has won Canada's fourth medal of the Rio Olympics, winning bronze in the women's 100-metre backstroke Monday.

Ontario native continues surprising success in the pool

Canadian Kylie Masse reacts after winning bronze in the women's 100-metre backstroke at the Rio Olympics. (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

By Nick Murray, CBC Sports

Canadian Kylie Masse has won Canada's fourth medal — and third women's swimming medal — of the Rio Olympics, winning bronze in the women's 100-metre backstroke Monday.

Masse, who two years ago was ranked 200th in the world, tied with China's Fu Yuanhui, finishing in 58.76 seconds. Both missed out on a silver medal by one-hundredth of a second.

"I knew just from swimming prelims and semis, we're all so close and a lot of tough competitors," Masse said. "I knew it was going to come down to the touch and just trying to get my hand on the wall first.

"It's different for backstroke because we can't see anything. It's a little bit trickier than something like freestyle where at least you can see your competitors. Backstroke, you're kind of blind and hope for the best."

Katinka Hosszu of Hungary won her second gold medal of the Rio Games, finishing in 58.45.

American Kathleen Baker won silver in 58.75.

Defending silver medallist Emily Seebolm led at the 50 mark, but fell off pace, opening the door for a tight finish. Seebolm ended up finishing seventh, while the top five swimmers all finished within four-tenths of a second.

Before Masse, Canadian Mark Tewksbury was the last Canadian to win a 100 backstroke medal, winning gold at Barcelona 1992.

The last Canadian woman to win an Olympic backstroke medal was Nancy Garapick, who won two bronze medals at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

After going 20 years without winning a woman's swimming medal, which was won by Marianne Limpert in the 200 individual medley in Atlanta, Canada has gone on a surge in Rio.

First, the women's 4x100 relay captured a bronze after impressive performances by Oleksiak, Sandrine Mainville, Chantal Van Landeghem, Michelle Williams and Taylor Ruck on Saturday, followed by Oleksiak's silver in the 100-metre butterfly Sunday.

The national team is coached by Ben Titley, but Masse is also coached by CBC swim analyst Byron MacDonald at the University of Toronto.

Sun Yang wins 2nd medal in Rio

China's Sun Yang grinded out a win in the men's 200 freestyle earlier in the night.

Sun — who also won silver in the men's 400 freestyle Saturday — finished in 1:44.65, marking his third Olympic gold medal and improving on his silver medal from London 2012 in the same event.

South African Chad Le Clos started off strong and had the lead through the first 50, but couldn't hold it finishing in second in 1:45.20. American Conor Dwyer won bronze in 1:45.23

Sun has been in hot water these Games, engaging in a war of words with Olympic 400 champion Australian swimmer Mack Horton after the Aussie made a reference to Sun's drug suspension.

Olympic records broken in gold-medal performances

American Lilly King won gold in the women's 100m breaststroke, setting an Olympic record of 1:04.93.

Russia's Yulia Efimova, who was greeted with resounding boos from the Rio de Janeiro crowd, won silver. American Katie Meili won bronze, while London 2012 champion Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania faded in the second length to finish seventh.

There were loud jeers before the start of the race for Efimova, who has twice been suspended for doping offences. The 24-year-old world champion won a legal challenge last week to get herself reinstated to the Olympics, having previously been excluded because of her doping record.

Meanwhile American Ryan Murphy set his own Olympic record, en route to winning gold in 51.97 in the men's 100m backstroke final. The win also continued his country's dominance in the event, having won gold in every Olympics since 1996.

China's Jiayu Xu won silver clocking in at 52.31, while American David Plummer won bronze in 52.40.

Plummer, making his Olympic debut at 30-years-old, edged out Australian Mitchell Larkin by three-hundredths of a second.

Phelps to swim for 4th consecutive 200m butterfly medal

Michael Phelps began his first day of solo swimming on a high note, securing a spot in Tuesday's 200 butterfly final.

Phelps — who holds the world record — went out strong in Monday night's race, and then backed off a bit in the final 50 to save his energy for Tuesday's final.

Hungary's Tamas Kenderesi surged to the wall first in 1:53.96.

Phelps was next at 1:54.12, followed by Hungary's Laszlo Cseh and South African Chad le Clos, the defending Olympic champion.

Four years ago, Le Clos upset Phelps, who had the lead but glided too long on his finish.

Tuesday's rematch is at 9:28 p.m., ET.

Pickrem to swim for another women's swimming medal

Halifax's Sydney Pickrem will have a shot at Canada's fourth women's swimming medal Tuesday in the women's 200 individual medley. 

The dual Canadian-American citizen finished fourth in her semifinal clocking in at 2:10.57, good for seventh overall and a berth into the finals.

Fellow Canadian Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson of Ottawa also had a chance at a spot in the finals, but finished 1.38 seconds short of the final spot.

MacLean, Savard come up short in 200m freestyle

Canadians Brittany MacLean and Katherine Savard also gave it their best go, but couldn't secure a spot in the women's 200m freestyle finals.

MacLean finished fifth in her semifinal, coming in at 1:57.36, while Savard finished seventh in 1:57.80.

They were in tough company, going up against Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom, who clocked in at 1:54.65, and American Katie Ledecky — fresh off a gold-medal win Sunday — who finished 1:54.81

"I wanted to improve off the morning, and I put everything I had left in me this morning just trying to make it through," MacLean told CBC's David Amber.

"I think our relay is going to be really good in a few days."

MacLean still has the women's 800 heats beginning Thursday.


With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press