Maggie Mac Neil of Canada, centre, Torri Huske of the U.S., left, and Yufei Zhang of China pose with their medals from the women’s 50m butterfly final during the world swimming short course championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Maggie Mac Neil of Canada, centre, Torri Huske of the U.S., left, and Yufei Zhang of China pose with their medals from the women’s 50m butterfly final during the world swimming short course championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Red Deer’s Rebecca Smith captures second world championship medal in 4X200 free relay

Canada’s Maggie Mac Neil won gold in the women’s 50-metre butterfly on Wednesday at the FINA world short course swimming championships.

The 22-year-old from London, Ont., finished in a tie for first place with American Torri Huske in 24.64 seconds. Mac Neil was eighth at the turn before charging back to set a Canadian record.

Canada also won silver and a pair of bronze medals on the day to bring its two-day overall total to six.

Rebecca Smith of Red Deer, Katerine Savard of Pont-Rouge, Que., Mary-Sophie Harvey of Trois-Rivieres, Que., and Kelowna, B.C., native Taylor Ruck were second in the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay in seven minutes 34.47 seconds.

Host Australia had a world-record time of 7:30.87 and the United States took bronze in 7:34.70.

Smith also helped Canada to bronze in the 4×100 freestyle relay.

Calgary’s Ingrid Wilm earned her first major individual medal by finishing third in the women’s 100 backstroke.

Australians Kaylee McKeown (55.49) and Mollie O’Callaghan (55.62) took the first two spots. Wilm and American Claire Curzan tied in 55.74.

The field also included defending champion Louise Hansson of Sweden and decorated Dutch swimmer Kira Toussaint. Wilm’s semifinal time of 55.92 earned her the second seed and the fifth lane between O’Callaghan and Hansson.

“I’m happy I went a faster time than semis,” Wilm said. “That’s an incredibly fast field so I went in there with no expectations.”

Kylie Masse of La Salle, Ont., was sixth.

In the mixed relay, Masse, Mac Neil, Toronto’s Javier Acevedo and Montreal’s Ilya Kharun took bronze in a Canadian record time of 1:36.93. Canada finished fifth but moved up two positions when Germany and the Netherlands were disqualified.

“I’m just really happy with how we all stepped up, and we got a little lucky as well,” Acevedo said.

The Americans had a world-record time of 1:35.15 and Italy was second in 1:36.01.

Competition continues through Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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