Kylie Masse wins bronze for Canada in swimming

Aug 9 2016, 1:32 am

Canada’s excellent Olympics in swimming continues, as Kylie Masse collects Canada’s third medal in three days from the pool – a bronze – in the women’s 100-metre backstroke.

Masse finished in a tie for the bronze with Yuanhui Fu of China, each swimming a time of 58.76. Both swimmers will receive medals. Masse finished just 0.01 away from winning a silver medal, being edged by Kathleen Baker of the United States. Katinka Hosszu of Hungary won gold with a time of 58.45.

The LaSalle, Ontario product had the fastest reaction time of the eight swimmers, getting off the blocks in 0.56 seconds. She was in fourth place at the 50-metre mark, which set herself up well for the final 50. Still, Masse needed to time her reach at the wall better than Fu – which she did – putting her into the bronze medal position.

“It means the world to me, I can’t even put it into words,” said an emotional Masse to CBC’s David Amber. “I knew it was going to be a tight race. I knew it was going to come down to the finish.”

Former Canadian Olympic swimmer Byron MacDonald, who coached Masse and is broadcasting for CBC during the Olympics, was surprised by the result.

“A huge surprise medal for Canada,” said MacDonald. “Kylie Masse two years ago was ranked 200th in the world.” 

To put Masse’s meteoric rise into perspective, consider that she didn’t make the Canadian team for the Pan Am Games just one year ago.

Canada has already equaled their medal total in swimming from the 2012 Games in what has been a pleasant surprise. The swim team has a lot of young athletes this time around, many with unproven records. But Masse, 20, along with Penny Oleksiak and the relay team before her, have shown that this team can race.

The bronze medal is the second of the day for Canada, as the women’s rugby team won earlier in the day. Canada’s medal total is now at four, with three bronze and one silver.

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