Taylor mints 2 Canadian golds

Canada's (in black and red) winning 4x100m freestyle mixed team of (from left) Penny Oleksiak, Taylor Ruck, Markus Thormeyer and Javier Acevedo celebrating their golden harvest.
Canada's (in black and red) winning 4x100m freestyle mixed team of (from left) Penny Oleksiak, Taylor Ruck, Markus Thormeyer and Javier Acevedo celebrating their golden harvest.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Teen breaks women's 100m free mark before helping mixed 4x100m free team to record

Waiting for gold medals is sometimes like waiting for buses: You spend ages in anticipation of one arriving and then two come at once.

Just ask the Canadian team at the Fina World Junior Swimming Championships. After going winless on the first two days of the six-day meet at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, they finally made two breakthroughs last night.

First, Taylor Ruck broke her own meet record by 0.03sec in winning the women's 100m freestyle in 53.92sec to earn Canada's first gold.

Then, she joined her mixed freestyle team of Javier Acevedo, Markus Thormeyer and Penny Oleksiak to bag the 4x100m title - and another world junior record - with a time of 3min 27.71sec to better the previous mark of 3:28.74 set by Australia in 2013.

Taylor, 15, said: "We were trying for a gold medal and it was amazing to finally get it. It felt good to have the opportunity to race against all these top swimmers and win. "

Cananda are fourth in the table with two golds, while Australia remained at the top of with five golds.

Minna Atherton, who broke the world junior record in the women's 100m backstroke on Wednesday, continued her fine form yesterday by winning the 200m backstroke with another record of 2:09.11 - 0.33 seconds ahead of China's Liu Yaxin. It was Australia's only gold of the day.

Atherton said: "I was not expecting (the gold) and it is a big surprise. I was just going for a personal best and trying to go as fast as I can."

Though his charges are topping the medal tally, Australia's head coach Glenn Beringen was keen not to put too much pressure on his team. "Our main goal here is to give these athletes an opportunity to develop their skills and prepare for senior competitions," said the 50-year-old. "What we want to see is progression and the ability to race well under stress.

"A lot of nations are performing very well and we expect the competition to get fiercer in the next three days. People start to get tired at this point and our focus will be to try and maintain the standard of their performances."

Russia's Daniil Pakhomov won the fourth gold of the day in the men's 100m butterfly. He clocked 52.28sec to set a new championship record and secure his nation's third gold of the meet.

Hoong En Qi, the first Singaporean to make the semi-finals in this edition, finished the women's 50m butterfly 13th out of the 16 swimmers in 27.32.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2015, with the headline 'TAYLOR MINTS 2 CANADIAN GOLDS'. Print Edition | Subscribe