Masse’s bid for 3rd consecutive 100m backstroke world title ruined by Regan Smith

Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont., hit the wall second in 58.40 seconds in an unsuccessful bid for a third consecutive world title in the women’s 100-meter backstroke on Monday at the FINA World Aquatic Championships in Budapest, Hungary .

American Regan Smith won in 58.22 after posting the fastest qualifying time of 57.65. At the Olympics last summer, Masse won silver ahead of Smith, who took bronze.

Smith’s teammate Claire Curzan was third Monday in 58.67.

Masse, 26, had a strong start to the race, posting the fastest reaction time of 0.53 to Smith’s 0.55.

The American swimmer led Masse by 6 hundredths of a second over 50 meters and held on for the win.

Masse, the reigning Olympic silver medalist, clocked the second-fastest time in Sunday’s preliminaries and semifinals, winning her heat in 58.89 in the morning and 58.57 in the evening.

WATCH | Masse has had a « killer instinct » in the pool since childhood:

Kylie Masse and her « killer instinct » ready to compete in aquatic worlds

She’s one of the elite backstroke swimmers, and it’s her fierce competitiveness that drives Kylie Masse to want to be the best.

In separate action, seven-time Olympic medalist Penny Oleksiak of Toronto was disqualified in the women’s 200 freestyle semifinals for starting too fast.

Taylor Ruck, of Kelowna, BC, qualified sixth out of 15 athletes clocking 1:56.80 for Tuesday’s final.

On Saturday, Oleksiak and Ruck teamed with Maggie Mac Neil and Kayla Sanchez to win the silver medal in the 100 relay on the opening day of competition.

They swam to a time of 3:31.15, 1.2 seconds behind Australia and ahead of the Americans who were 1.63 seconds behind.

Coverage continues Monday afternoon, with races streamed live on CBC, CBC Sports App and CBC Gem.

WATCH | Oleksiak leads the Canadians to silver in the 100-metre relay:

Canada wins silver in 4x100m freestyle relay at world aquatic championships

The group of Maggie Mac Neil, Taylor Ruck, Kayla Sanchez and Penny Oleksiak finished with a time of 3:31.15 to place 2nd in competition at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Ceccon sets a world mark in the men’s 100m backstroke

Italian Thomas Ceccon set a world record in the men’s 100m backstroke.

He clocked 51.60 seconds on Monday in Budapest to shave 0.15 seconds off American Ryan Murphy’s previous best record from the 2016 Olympics.

Ceccon is the second Italian to set a long course swimming world record after Giorgio Lambert, who held the men’s 200m freestyle record from 1989 to 1999.

At 21, Ceccon is also the youngest men’s 100m backstroke gold medalist at a world championship since 19-year-old American Aaron Piersol won in 2003.

Ledecky dominates the women’s 1500m

American Katie Ledecky dominated the women’s 1,500 freestyle to win her second gold medal at these world championships.

Ledecky, who won the women’s 400 on day one, took the gold with a time of 15 minutes 30.15 seconds.

The 25-year-old finished more than 14 seconds clear of compatriot Katie Grimes who won silver while Australia’s Lani Pallister clinched bronze.

« I love this pool, I knew I was working to swim well and getting into a rhythm, » Ledecky said.

« I have the relay, it’s next on the agenda and then I’ll tackle the 800m. We’ll see [if I can get a record]. »

Elsewhere on Monday:

  • Romanian teenager David Popovici broke the junior world record as he rode to victory to claim gold in the men’s 200 freestyle. The 17-year-old became the first Romanian male swimmer to win world championship gold by finishing with a time of 1:43.21.

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