Canada’s Maggie Mac Neil wins record 100m butterfly gold at World Cup in Toronto

Dozens of children leaned on the railing of the Toronto Pan Am Sports Center gallery, shouting at their swimming heroes, begging for an autograph.

“Magic! “Kylie!” “Penny!” “Summer!” “Sydney! »

The choir of young voices was at its peak when Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont., won the women’s 100-metre butterfly in 54.78 seconds on Sunday to set a World Cup record and break her own Canadian record.

The reigning Olympic and world champion also finished the weekend as the overall winner, with 58.5 points.

“It makes me so proud,” Mac Neil, 22, said on the pool deck as the children called to him. “I’m still getting used to my role, but I hope to make everyone proud.

“It means so much to have their support, and it’s great to have them cheered on in the crowd this weekend.”

WATCH | Mac Neil wins gold in the 100m butterfly:

Maggie Mac Neil sets World Cup record with 100m butterfly victory

Canada’s Maggie Mac Neil wins the women’s 100m butterfly setting a new World Cup record of 54.78.

Sweden’s Louise Hansson (55.02) and Brazil’s Giovanna Tomanik Diamante (57.41) completed the podium in the women’s 100-metre butterfly.

Katerine Savard (57.68) of Pont-Rouge, Que., was fourth.

Canada finished with five gold, nine silver and seven bronze at the World Cup, just behind the United States.

Although the 2,300-seat site hosted the Canadian Olympic Trials last summer before the Tokyo Games, the viewing galleries were empty then due to COVID-19 protocols. This weekend, however, the stands were full.

American Beata Nelson (2:00.50) won gold in the women’s 200-metre backstroke, with the Canadians taking the next three spots.

Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont., took silver in 2:02.21, Summer McIntosh of Toronto (2:02.85) took bronze and Ingrid Wilm of Calgary finished just behind the podium in 2:02.94.

Masse is now fourth in the overall women’s standings for the season. She hopes the event will inspire young children to pursue their dreams and see what they can achieve in swimming.

“I think that’s the end goal,” Masse said after signing swim caps, floats, flags and even winter coats. “It would be amazing to see swimming in Canada look like hockey or soccer or baseball, basketball.

“I think that’s something that we all hope for and hope that we can leave an impact and a legacy in this sport so that swimming becomes more popular in Canada.”

Nelson also won gold in the women’s 200 individual medley clocking 2:05.08 to finish second in the overall women’s standings over the weekend with 58.3 points. Sydney Pickrem of Halifax was second in 2:05.23 and McIntosh earned his second medal of the day in 2:06.57.

Bailey Andison of Smiths Falls, Ont. was fourth, Kelsey Wog of Winnipeg was fifth, Ashley McMillan of Penticton, B.C. was sixth, Ella Jansen of Burlington, Ont. was seventh and Mary-Sophie Harvey of Laval, Que., finished eighth.

Pickrem trained at the east Toronto facility for nearly 18 months during the heaviest days of the pandemic. She said it was exciting to finally compete in front of Canadian fans and show how Swimming Canada’s program has grown over the past four years.

“I think it’s amazing for Canada to see this high level of competition,” she said after signing autographs. “Knowing that Canada is in the game and we have been for the past two years and it’s really cool to bring it home for them.”

Other notable Canadian results include Javier Acevedo of Toronto who was fourth in the men’s 100-metre backstroke, Josh Liendo of Markham, Ont., who was sixth in the men’s 50-metre butterfly, Sophie Angus who placed seventh in the women’s 50-metre breaststroke, and Mac Neil was fifth in the women’s 100-metre freestyle.

Indianapolis will host the next leg of the World Cup Nov. 3-5.

WATCH | FINA Swimming World Cup in Toronto – Evening session of day 3:

FINA Swimming World Cup Toronto 2022: Day 3 Evening Session

Watch the evening action of day three of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2022 from Toronto.

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