Kylie Masse strikes silver in 100m backstroke at FINA World Championships
Kylie Masse swam her way onto the 100m backstroke podium for the third straight edition of the FINA World Championships.
After winning world titles in 2017 and 2019, Masse claimed the silver medal on Monday in Budapest in 58.40 seconds.
In a very close race, Masse finished just 0.18 of a second behind Regan Smith from the United States who won the event, clocking in a time of 58.22. Masse started out quickly and took the lead as they emerged from underwater. She was just 0.06 behind Smith at the midway mark, setting up a great last leg. But Smith capitalized on the lead she was able to gain on the turn to win the race. Another American, Claire Curzan, rounded out the podium in 58.67 seconds.
Masse wasn’t super thrilled with her time, but was content with putting in a podium performance.
“It’s not necessarily the time I feel like I’m capable of, and I was a bit frustrated I had a poor touch, but I think after the crazy last couple of years I’m proud to be able to continue to fight to get on the podium. There are so many amazing backstrokers here and in the last couple of years. It’s been a great challenge and I’m continually motivated by them to push myself,” said the 26-year-old.
The Canadian, who also finished with a silver medal last summer in the 100m backstroke at Tokyo 2020, picks up her sixth career medal at the FINA World Aquatics Championships. That makes her only the third Canadian swimmer in history to win that many world championship medals. Ryan Cochrane won eight while Penny Oleksiak claimed her sixth on Saturday in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Oleksiak will miss the chance to race for a medal in the 200m freestyle after being disqualified for a false start in the semifinals. Taylor Ruck did advance to that final on Tuesday with the sixth-best time in the semis.
Masse will compete next in the 200m backstroke preliminaries on Thursday. She is also the reigning Olympic silver medallist in that event.
Action will continue in swimming at the FINA World Championships until June 25.