Josh Liendo, Ilya Kharun Win Final Olympic Tune-Ups On Day 3 of Mel Zajac Jr. International


Canadian Olympic medal hopefuls Josh Liendo and Ilya Kharun had their final tune-ups at the Mel Zajac Jr. International Meet on Sunday, just a few weeks before the Summer Games start next month in Paris.

Liendo triumphed in the 100 free with a time of 48.62, about a second off his personal-best 47.55 that he equaled at Canadian Olympic Trials last month. The 21-year-old NCAA champion ranks 8th this season in the 100 free.

Kharun, a rising sophomore at Arizona State, cruised to victory in the men’s 200 fly by more than six seconds with a winning time of 1:55.13. The 19-year-old Sandpipers of Nevada product posted a 1:54.41 at Canadian Olympic Trials last month to move up to 6th in the world this season. Kharun has been a fast as 1:53.82 at last summer’s World Championships, where he tied for 4th place.

The men’s 100 back turned out to be an exciting showdown between Javier Acevedo (54.93) beat Blake Tierney (55.94) and Aiden Norman (55.12). At last month’s Canadian Olympic Trials, both Acevedo (53.55) and Tierney (53.48) punched their tickets to Paris. It be the third Olympics in a row for Acevedo.

Kayla Sanchez prevailed in the women’s 100 free (54.25) against Taylor Ruck (55.51). Sanchez, who is set to represent the Philippines next month after switching sporting citizenship from Canada, lowered her season best from 54.88 at February’s World Championships, but she still hasn’t been under 54 seconds since the 2022 World Championships (53.45). Ruck was about a second off her 54.47 from Canadian Olympic Trials last month that placed her 4th.

=In the women’s 100 back, Ashley McMillan threw down a personal-best 1:00.82 for the win. The 20-year-old dropped more than three tenths off her previous-best 1:01.16 from last month’s Canadian Olympic Trials, where she placed 6th.

The 50 breast featured a pair of fun battles. On the women’s side, Sophie Angus (31.68) held off Alexanne Lepage (32.01) for the win. Angus owns a lifetime best of 30.86 from the 2024 World Championships in February, when she placed 12th in the semifinals. On the men’s side, Aleksas Savickas (28.20) picked up a close win against Apollo Hess (28.47). Savickas, a rising Lithuanian junior at Florida, dropped almost a tenth off his previous-best 28.29 from 2022.

Applejean Gwinn captured the women’s 200 fly crown in 2:17.58. The UCLA commit (’25) touched within a few seconds of her personal-best 2:14.62 from last summer.

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About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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