Road To The Olympic Games


Hilary Caldwell wins bronze, Canada's 6th swim medal

Canada's Hilary Caldwell has continued an impressive run for the country's women in the pool with a bronze medal in the 200-metre backstroke on Friday, bringing the swimming medal haul to six.

B.C. swimmer races to bronze in 200-metre backstroke

Canada's Hilary Caldwell won bronze in the women's 200-metre backstroke Friday in Rio. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

By Callum Ng, CBC Sports

It's becoming routine for Canada's women in the pool.

Hilary Caldwell waited through six nights of astounding swimming and when she finally got her chance in a final, she came through.

Caldwell won a bronze medal in the women's 200-metre backstroke, with a time of two minutes 07.54 seconds.

The time was slower than her semifinal and 7/10ths of a second off her personal best, but enough for the podium.

"An Olympic final (is) about racing and I got my hand on the wall top three so it's all I could ask for really," said the 25-year-old who finished behind winner Maya DiRado of the United States, and silver medallist Katinka Hosszu of Hungary.

Caldwell reached in for the touch with her right arm, the one tattooed with the words 'Make it so'. It is a phrase her late coach, Randy Bennett, often used. He died of cancer in April of 2015.

"Last year was rough, last year was real hard," said Caldwell. "I wanted to make Randy proud, and I wanted to make our coach now proud because he's done such an incredible job of taking over."

Ryan Mallette took over as the head coach of the Victoria training centre where both Caldwell and two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane train. "It's still weird not having him (Bennett) here but I'm also so proud to swim for Ryan Mallette, our coach now."

Women's swimming dominating 

It's a startling sixth medal for the Canadian swim team in only seven days, all by women.

Before Rio, Marianne Limpert's 200 individual medley silver from Atlanta 1996 stood as the most recent women's Olympic swimming medal by a Canadian.

That's a long wait. So is stewing for five days.

Caldwell sat idle for two relay bronze medals, a Penny Oleksiak gold and silver, and a Kylie Masse bronze before she raced for the first time.

The White Rock, B.C. native swam her heat and semifinal on Thursday, advancing second to Friday's final. "It's been a long wait for me to get to swim my race, I wanted to be on the podium because all these girls have been and it's been unbelievable," she said.

Women have also won all 10 of Canada's current medal count.

There's one more race for the Canadian women, the second-seeded 4x100 medley relay goes at 9:49 p.m. ET on Saturday night.

Winnipeg's Chantal Van Landeghem was eliminated from the women's 50-metre freestyle on Friday, finishing 10th.

On the men's side Victoria's Ryan Cochrane swims in the final of the 1,500 freestyle on Saturday at 9:11 p.m. ET.


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