• June 4, 2023

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Tessa Cieplucha, Canadian women’s relay team strike gold at short-course worlds

The Canadian women got off to a strong start at the world short-course swimming championship, capturing three medals, including a pair of gold on Thursday in Abu Dhabi.

Tessa Cieplucha claimed gold in the women’s 400-metre individual medley in a personal-best effort.

Cieplucha from Georgetown, Ont., concluded with a time of four minutes 25.55 seconds, which was 0.97 seconds ahead of Ireland’s Ellen Walshe. American Melanie Margalis earned bronze with a time of 4:26.63.

The only other Canadian in the field was Bailey Anderson from Smith Falls, Ont., who placed fifth. She swam to a time of 4:28.97.

Canada and the U.S., tied for gold in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay with a time of 3:28.52.

Sweden concluded third and earned bronze with a time of 3:28.80. It was a national record for the Canadian women.

Kayla Sanchez of Scarborough, Ont., started for Canada and gave them an early lead. She was followed by Olympic champion Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont., who kept their short lead before Rebecca Smith entered the water and extended Canada’s advantage by nearly two seconds.

As the anchor, Katerine Savard of Pont-Rouge, Que., swam a solid time but American Abbey Weitzeil had the fastest lap and caught up to the Canadian at the wall.

Earlier in the day, Rebecca Smith won a silver medal in the women’s 200m freestyle final.

Smith, from Red Deer, Alta., swam to a time of 1:52.24 which is a short-course Canadian record. However, it was still 1.93 seconds back of Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey, who had a world-record time of 1:50.31 to claim gold. American Paige Madden won bronze with a time of 1:53.01.

Summer McIntosh, from Toronto, the other Canadian in the field concluded fifth, finishing with a time of 1:53.65.

Steve Carr

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