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Masse’s bid for 3rd straight world 100m backstroke title spoiled by Regan Smith

Masse’s bid for 3rd straight world 100m backstroke title spoiled by Regan Smith

Masse’s bid for 3rd straight world 100m backstroke title spoiled by Regan Smith

Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont., touched the wall second in 58.40 seconds in an unsuccessful bid for a third straight world title in the women’s 100-metre backstroke on Monday at the FINA world aquatics championships in Budapest, Hungary.

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

Claire Curzan, Smith’s teammate, was third on 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 6-100ths of a second through 50 meters and held on for the victory.

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 ‘killer instinct’ in pool since childhood:

Kylie Masse and her ‘killer instinct’ ready to compete at aquatics worlds

She’s one of swimming’s elite backstrokers, and It’s her fierce competitiveness that pushes Kylie Masse to want to be the best.

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

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

On Saturday, Oleksiak and Ruck teamed with Maggie Mac Neil and Kayla Sanchez to win 100 relay silver 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 live streamed at CBC, CBC Sports App and CBC Gem.

WATCH | Oleksiak drives Canadian women to silver in 100-metre relay:

Canada claims silver in 4×100 freestyle relay at world aquatics 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 the competition at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

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