Canadian swimmers smash national record with 9th medal at world championships


Canadian swimmers broke a national record for podium finishes at a single world championship with two more medals on Friday.

And Josh Liendo, 19, was at the heart of both.

After winning individual bronze in the men’s 100m butterfly, Liendo led the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay team to silver, giving Canada its ninth medal (two gold, four silver, three bronze) in Budapest, Hungary.

The previous mark of eight (two gold, six bronze) was set at the 2019 Worlds.

Penny Oleksiak, already Canada’s most decorated Olympian of all time, also tied the country’s individual record at the world championships with her eighth career podium finish after running the first leg of the relay. The total is equal to Ryan Cochrane, who has competed at the world championships five times.

“I’m really lucky to be part of this team and it’s growing so fast and I feel like I say it every year, but we’re getting faster so it’s always exciting,” Oleksiak said after the race.

The Toronto native’s eight medals (two silver, six bronze) came in relays, where she once again showcased her prowess.

WATCH | Oleksiak anchors Canada to silver:

Silver in 4x100m freestyle gives Canada national-record 9th medal at world swimming championships

Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez, Javier Acevedo and Josh Liendo won silver in the mixed 4×100-metre freestyle relay, giving Canada its ninth medal (two gold, four silver, three bronze) at the world championships FINA 2022 in Budapest. Canada’s previous record of eight medals (two gold, six bronze) was set at the 2019 world championships.

After Liendo got the Canadians off to a third-place start, Javier Acevedo and Kayla Sanchez ensured the team stayed there for their closest in the non-Olympic event.

“I didn’t think about how I felt,” Liendo said of his third final of the day. “I just thought I was going to do it fast for my team. I was in a bit of pain but I gave it my all so I’m proud.”

Oleksiak, 22, delivered her signature finishing kick, passing her American counterpart Claire Curzan to propel Canada to the silver medal in a national record time of three minutes 20.61 seconds.

Australia won gold with a record time of 3:19.38, while the United States settled for bronze in 3:21.09.

WATCH | Relay team on a record run:

Canada’s silver-medal winning team in the mixed 4×100-meter freestyle relay talks about their accomplishment

Watch the post-race interview with Canadians Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez, Josh Liendo and Javier Acevedo after winning silver in Budapest.

Liendo, who also won bronze in the 100 freestyle, will be on his third podium of the competition.

He took a page from Oleksiak’s book en route to his final bronze medal. The Markham, Ont., native cleared the 50-yard mark in fourth place, but saved his best for last.

His split time in the back half of the race edged only gold medalist Kristof Milak of Hungary and silver medalist Naoki Mizunuma of Japan.

Liendo’s time of 50.97 seconds was also just three hundredths behind Mizunuma. Milak dominated the entire race and flirted with the world record before claiming gold in 50.14 seconds.

WATCH | Liendo wins bronze in the 100m butterfly:

Josh Liendo takes bronze in the 100m for his 2nd medal at the FINA World Championships

Josh Liendo of Markham, Ont., won bronze in the men’s 100-meter butterfly at the FINA world championships in Budapest on Friday, just two days after earning his first career medal at the world championships by taking bronze in the 100-meter free.

Just over 30 minutes before the 100m butterfly, Liendo missed another potential medal by just 0.04 seconds, placing fifth in the 50m freestyle.

The Canadian qualified with the third fastest time at 21.73 seconds and improved to 21.61 seconds in the final.

Yet he was left out, as Britain’s Benjamin Proud took gold in 21.32 seconds, American Michael Andrew scored silver in 21.41 seconds and Frenchman Maxime Grousset slipped into the bronze medal position at 21.57 seconds.

Canada could extend its medal record on the final day of swimming competition on Saturday when 15-year-old Summer McIntosh, who already has a medal of each color, swims the women’s 400 individual medley while the Canadian 4×100 individual medley relay teams male and female compete equally.

Live coverage begins at 12:05 p.m. ET on, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

Mass is below

Meanwhile, Kylie Masse failed to win a third medal in Hungary, which would have ultimately tied her to Oleksiak with eight over her career.

Masse, who won silver in the 200m backstroke at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fifth in the discipline and just off the podium in a time of two minutes eight seconds.

The 26-year-old from LaSalle, Ont. started among the leaders, touching after the first 50 meters in third place. But she continually slowed from there, even dropping from fourth to fifth on the final lap in the pool.

Australian Kaylee McKeown took gold in 2:05.08, while Americans Phoebe Bacon and Rhyan White won silver and bronze in 2:05.12 and 2:06.96, respectively.

Still, it will be a successful world championship for Masse, who won her first career gold in the 50 backstroke and silver in the 100 backstroke.

WATCH | The importance of path 4:

Do you know why lane 4 is important in swimming?

Athletes are assigned different lanes in a swim final and where they are placed can provide insight into who is comparing against whom. explains Jacqueline Doorey.

Alvarez out of competition

Anita Alvarez, the American artistic swimmer who was rescued by her coach after passing out in the pool on Thursday, did not compete in the team event on Friday.

FINA, the sport’s governing body, said “she should not compete” in light of the incident.

“The health and safety of the athletes must always come first. While FINA understands why this decision will have been disappointing to the athlete, it is a decision that was made in their best interests.”

The US team doctor said she was “very confident” that Alvarez would have been okay to compete.

WATCH | Swimmer rescued by US coach after fainting in pool:

US coach dives after swimmer who passed out sinks to bottom of pool

Coach Andrea Fuentes dove after artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez after the American passed out during her performance and sank to the bottom of the pool.

Elsewhere, the Canadian men’s water polo team has been conditionally withdrawn from the tournament after multiple tests positive for COVID-19.

The team could return to play in the seeding brackets on Monday, barring further positive tests and provided the affected athletes’ isolation period is over.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to stories of success within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project that Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(Radio Canada)