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Canada’s Liendo breaks own record, wins silver in men’s 100-metre butterfly

France’s Maxime Grousset edged Liendo for gold in 50.14 seconds
Medalists, from left to right, Josh Liendo of Canada, silver, Maxime Grousset of France, gold, and Dare Rose of the U.S., bronze celebrate during the medal ceremony for the men’s 100m butterfly at the World Swimming Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, Saturday, July 29, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Lee Jin-man

Canada’s Josh Liendo won silver in the men’s 100-metre butterfly with a Canadian record time at the World Aquatics Championships on Saturday (July 29).

The 20-year-old from Toronto clocked in at 50.34 seconds to eclipse his previous national mark of 50.36 seconds set back in the spring and improve on his bronze-medal performance at the 2022 worlds.

France’s Maxime Grousset edged Liendo for gold in 50.14 seconds, while Dare Rose of the United States grabbed bronze in 50.46.

Liendo also qualified for the 50-metre freestyle final, but scratched himself from that event to focus on the butterfly.

“It paid off,” he said. “I just trusted my race, trusted my strengths and also tried to work on stuff I thought were my weaknesses.”

Liendo, who recently completed his first year at the University of Florida, says he’s still learning at the international level.

“There’s definitely some stuff to improve on, but then again, it’s a new program this year,” he said. “Today was just a great learning opportunity for me.”

Canada now has four medals this week in swimming at the event, led by Toronto’s Summer McIntosh with gold in the women’s 200 butterfly and bronze in the 200 freestyle, as well as silver for Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont., in the women’s 100 butterfly.

Australia broke its world record in the mixed 4x100 freestyle relay to take gold in 3:18.83. The Americans were second in 3:20.82, while Great Britain was third in 3:21.68.

Canada’s entry of Liendo, Mac Neil, Toronto’s Ruslan Gaziev and Mary-Sophie Harvey of Trois-Rivieres, Que., surged from sixth after the first leg to wind up fourth in 3:23.82.

“Relays are always fun for me,” Mac Neil said. “When I finish off (a competition) with the relays I find a little bit more energy.

“Fourth in the world is pretty good.”

Australia’s Kaylee McKeown won the women’s 200 backstroke. Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont., who made all three finals in the discipline this week, was fifth.

“The last 50 was definitely tough, but I put it all out there,” said Masse, who has reached the final in 10 of 11 backstroke events over the last four worlds. “It’s an incredible field and I knew that most likely the two girls would be out front.

“I just had to battle my way.”

The competition wraps up Sunday.

The Canadian Press

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