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Still No. 1: Kylie Masse retains world title in 100-metre backstroke at world aquatic championships in South Korea

Gold medallist Kylie Masse poses with silver and bronze medallists Minna Atherton and Olivia Smoliga after the final of the women's 100-metre backstroke event during the swimming competition in Gwangju, South Korea (photo by Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images)

For many students, the summer is a time to unwind and take a well-deserved break. 

But for Kylie Masse, it’s crunch time. 

The University of Toronto kinesiology major and Olympic bronze medallist in the 100-metre backstroke defended the world title at the world aquatic championships in Gwangju, South Korea on Tuesday. 

Masse clocked in at 58.60 seconds, overtaking Australia’s Minna Atherton who led at the halfway mark in the Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center.

U of T swim coach Byron MacDonald, who is a swim analyst for CBC Sports, says Masse’s performance singles her out as one of the favourites for the gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo – though it’s still early days. 

"Will she be one of the favourites? Absolutely, yes,” MacDonald told the CBC. 

“The field is so close … tenths of seconds that anything can happen in an Olympic year. Remember, [Canada's] Penny [Oleksiak] did not even make worlds [in 2015 before winning four gold medals at the 2016 Olympics] so people can come from nowhere."

Read more at CBC


 

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