Taylor Ruck, Canadian swimmer, wins 2 gold, bronze at FINA worlds
15-year-old claims top spot in 100m freestyle, 4x100m mixed freestyle relay
Canada's Taylor Ruck put on a strong performance on Thursday night, winning two gold medals and a bronze at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.
After opening the evening with a bronze in the 100-m backstroke, the 15-year-old Kelowna, B.C. native won gold in the women's 100-m freestyle and anchored Canada to victory and a world junior record in the women's 4X100-m mixed freestyle relay.
In the 100-m freestyle, Ruck lowered her meet, personal best and 15-17 national age group record to 53.92 seconds for the victory.
It is the third-fastest recorded 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. '' 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.''
Toronto native Penny Oleksiak 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.''
'Nation to watch out for'
Later on, Oleksiak and Ruck completed Canada's win in the 4X100-m mixed freestyle relay clocking 3:27.71, eclipsing 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.''
Canada has five medals so far at the event: two gold, two silver and a bronze.
With files from Swimming Canada