Canada Strikes Double Gold at World Juniors

Monday, August 28, 2017
Oleksiak, Ruck, Sanchez, Smith

Jade Hannah and the women’s 4×100-m freestyle won gold medals on the fifth night of swimming at the FINA World Junior Championships. Canada’s relay of Taylor Ruck, Penny Oleksiak, Rebecca Smith and Kayla Sanchez also set a world junior record after finishing in 3 minutes 36.19 seconds.

Ruck led off the relay in a 100-m freestyle world junior championship record time of 53.63. It was her own record from the 2015 World Junior Championships in Singapore.

Canada never relinquished the lead, and finished three and a half seconds ahead of the rest of the field. USA touched in second, and Japan was third.

“This team is so strong as a group and we’re all so close, so we’re all swimming fast and building on each other’s success and doing well,” said Smith. “We’re doing so well right now and we’re all still learning so we can all still improve.”

All four relay swimmers train at the High Performance Centre – Ontario.

“I think it’s pretty important to have people training together and people racing together as much as they can because it builds a team,” said Oleksiak.

Jade Hannah, who trains at NextGen – Victoria, won Canada’s first individual gold medal of the championships. Hannah shared the 50-m backstroke gold with Japan’s Natsumi Sakai after they tied in 27.93.

“I’m very happy. I’m so excited right now I can’t put anything into words,” said the Halifax native. “The team has pushed me to do my very best, they’re very supportive.”

“I was so happy to get under 28 tonight. It means a lot to me because I’ve worked so hard for it. It was so exciting to be able to have the first individual gold medal for Team Canada, it’s just such an exciting moment for me.”

Canada now has five gold medals over the competition, the most ever at a World Junior Championships.

Kayla Sanchez, who trains at the High Performance Centre – Ontario, qualified for Monday’s 50-m freestyle final in sixth. The 16-year-old completed the splash-and-dash in 25.35.

In her first race of the evening, Smith advanced to the 100-m butterfly final along with her teammate Mabel Zavaros. Smith, a Red Deer, Alta., native clocked in with a 58.79, good for the second seed in the finals. Zavaros, of Oakville Aquatic Club, squeaked into the final in eighth in 59.36.

Gabe Mastromatteo of Kenora, Ont., also snuck into a final in eighth. The 15-year-old’s 50-m breaststroke time of 28.30 was enough to put him into Monday’s final.

Ruslan Gaziev finished his meet off with a 14th place in the 100-m freestyle. The 18-year-old Markham Aquatic Club swimmer touched in with a 50.21.

Team Canada’s medal total of twelve is approaching their best ever World Junior Championships medal count of fourteen, which was achieved at the 2011 World Junior Championships in Lima, Peru.

“The 2017 World Junior Championships team continues to show progress in the specifics of what we’re asking them to do,” said Ken McKinnon, Swimming Canada’s National Development Coach. “They’ve been able to swim fast in the prelims sessions, faster in the semifinals, and at their best in the finals. We’ve been extremely successful this week, it’s something we’ve planned for and worked on.”

“Swimming Canada has dedicated an enormous amount of resources and focus to relay development since 2013, and we’re beginning to see it payoff now. We hope to see it continue into Tokyo in 2020.”

Story: Swimming Canada | Swimming.ca
Photo: @SwimmingWorld

News Category: 

Latest News

  • July 19, 2019
    OTTAWA (July 19, 2019) – Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada ( WSWC ) and the Canadian Olympic Committee are pleased to announce the six athletes selected to compete in the water ski and wakeboard events at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. The...
  • July 19, 2019
    For Immediate Release TORONTO (July 19, 2019) – Canadian Sport Institute Ontario ( CSIO ) is proud to announce its partnership with two Freshii Inc. franchises located in the Ottawa area - 50 Laurier Avenue East and 98 Sparks Street. Freshii’s...
  • July 18, 2019
    MONTREAL (July 18, 2019) – The Canadian Weightlifting Federation and the Canadian Olympic Committee are pleased to announce the athletes and coaches selected to compete in weightlifting at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Four athletes qualified...
  • July 18, 2019
    Ottawa, July 18, 2019 – The 24 wheelchair basketball players who will compete for gold for Canada at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games next month have been selected, as Wheelchair Basketball Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee announced...
  • July 18, 2019
    OTTAWA (July 18, 2019) – Volleyball Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have named the women’s volleyball team for the 2019 Pan American Games tournament, held August 2 to 11 at the Sports Centre VRDC located in the Villa Deportiva Regional...