Olympic wake-up call: Canadian swimmers, divers still making a splash in Tokyo

·4 min read
Kylie Masse of Team Canada swims to her second silver medal in Tokyo in the women's 200-metre backstroke final.  (Clive Rose/Getty Images - image credit)
Kylie Masse of Team Canada swims to her second silver medal in Tokyo in the women's 200-metre backstroke final. (Clive Rose/Getty Images - image credit)

Canada's performances in the pool in Tokyo have captured the attention of Canadian sports fans— and for good reason.

Canadian swimmer Kylie Masse cashed in on her determination to secure her second silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Saturday.

The 25-year-old from LaSalle, Ont., finished second in the women's 200-metre backstroke, earning Canada's fifth medal in the pool at these Games. She finished in two minutes 5.42 seconds, just behind Kaylee McKeown of Australia.

Fellow Canadian Taylor Ruck also made the finals, and came sixth. CBC Sports's Jamie Strashin recounts Masse's silver-winning race and the complex journey to train for the Games.

WATCH | Kylie Masse earns silver in Tokyo:

Here's a look at other events you might have missed in Tokyo on Saturday:

Simone Biles, Ellie Black updates

Despite reinjuring her ankle in training, Canadian gymnast Ellie Black is still planning to compete in the women's beam final.

The 25-year-old from Halifax recently withdrew from the women's individual all-around final to rest.

She placed fifth in the all-around in Rio 2016, the highest-ever result for a Canadian woman in that event.

Meanwhile, American Simone Biles pulled out from individual events, including vault and uneven bars. She chose not to compete in the all-around finals, wanting to focus on her mental health.

USA Gymnastics says the 24-year-old will be evaluated daily ahead of deciding whether to compete in the beam and floor exercise finals.


Canadian diver Jennifer Abel is on to another Olympic finals, this time for the women's three-metre springboard event.

The chance comes one week after she won silver in the synchronized three-metre springboard with partner Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu.

Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters
Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters

The 29-year-old from Laval, Que,. will compete solo on Sunday for a spot on the podium after two consecutive third-place finishes in the preliminary round and semifinals.

But it was a heart-wrenching competition on Saturday for fellow Canadian diver Pamela Ware. Despite having stayed near the top of the leaderboard, Ware failed on her last dive and didn't make it through the cut.

WATCH | Pamela Ware won't advance to finals after failed dive:

Sunday will also see Sarah Douglas competing in the women's laser radial medal race. The 27-year-old sailor had a tremendous second place finish on Friday, which secured her spot in the top 10.

A near medal-fight

Canadian boxer Tammara Thibeault made the quarter-finals, but was unable to beat her experienced opponent to move on into a medal fight in the women's middleweight class.

Thibeault went up against the Netherlands's Nouchka Fontijn, who won a silver in Rio 2016. While most judges had the Canadian in the lead in the first round, Fontijn turned the subsequent ones around, bouncing the Canadian out of contention.

Fontijn advanced to the semifinals, where she's guaranteed to win a medal, as boxing gives two bronze medals out, one to each loser of the semifinal fights.

BMX freestyle views

It's a debut for BMX freestyle, and athletes are already showing why they call it an extreme sport.

While BMX racing has been in the Olympics, it's a first for the freestyle event, where riders will complete a series of wild tricks on bikes for a spot on the podium. Riders have a pair of 60-second runs to impress the judges, who score based on aspects like difficulty and creativity.

Here are couple of views from the BMX freestyle seeding events on Saturday:

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Mixed triathlon, swimming relays debut

Great Britain has claimed the first Olympic gold medals in the mixed triathlon and swimming 4x100-metre medley relays — both of which are new events at the Games.

In these races, men and women work together to earn a medal.

Alex Yee crossed the finish line to complete Great Britain's victory. The athletes race through a short-course triathlon, swimming 300 metres, biking 6.8 kilometres, and running two kilometres to the end.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

In the pool, Anna Hopkin powered through her freestyle to get the second gold. Each member of the team of four swimmers is responsible for 100 metres of a specific stroke.

Judo also had its first Olympic mixed team finals — a combination of three men and three women competing in different weight classes.

It was a huge upset by France, who defeated host nation Japan to win the gold.

 Leon Neal/Getty Images
Leon Neal/Getty Images
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