Kylie Masse Becomes 1st Canadian Female To Win A Swimming World Title


After a breakout six-medal performance last summer in Rio, the Canadian women continue to make an impact on the international stage.

Despite near medal misses on the first two days from the 400 free relay and Penny Oleksiak in the 100 fly (both 4th), Kylie Masse won their first medal of the meet on day 3 in the women’s 100 back, striking gold. That gold medal is the first ever by a Canadian female at the World Championships in swimming.

Masse didn’t just win gold, she won it in a new world record of 58.10, taking down the longest standing world record on the women’s side. The previous record was set almost eight years ago to the day, as Great Britain’s Gemma Spofforth clocked 58.12 to win the 2009 World Championship title during the super-suit era.

This medal is especially significant for Canada because it’s their first gold at the World Aquatics Championships in quite some time. Masse’s win is the country’s first, across all disciplines, at the World Championships since Brent Hayden tied for gold in the men’s 100 freestyle at the 2007 Championships in Melbourne.

Masse has had a meteoric rise to the top, and joins Oleksiak as the face of Canadian swimming moving forward. The most swimming medals they’ve won at a World Championships is six back in 1978, and their highest total since the turn of the century is five, done back in 2005 when they hosted the meet in Montreal.

Though those marks may be a little optimistic for these championships, they’re certainly not out of reach. Masse is a medal threat in both the 50 and 200 back, as is Olympic medalist Hilary Caldwell in the 200. Oleksiak has a few more chances individually in the 100 free and 50 fly, and their female and mixed relays all have a shot. With the majority of the team relatively young, they’re only going to improve over the years.

Masse will be right back in action tomorrow morning in the 50 back heats.


In total there were seven American medalists on day 3, including two golds and one world record. Take a look below:

  • Lilly King added World champion and world record holder to her impressive resume in the women’s 100 breast, clocking 1:04.13 to take down Ruta Meilutyte‘s mark of 1:04.35 from 2013. She also once again defeated controversial Russian Yuliya Efimova, who was seven tenths slower than the semis and settled for bronze.
  • Katie Meili was the one who jumped up and grabbed silver ahead of Efimova, going a PB of 1:05.03 to become the 6th fastest performer in history.
  • The other gold came from Katie Ledecky, who successfully three-peated in the women’s 1500 free in a time of 15:31.82. That was the 4th fastest swim of all-time, giving Ledecky eight of the top ten.
  • Texas Longhorn Townley Haas won his first individual World Championship medal in the men’s 200 freestyle, taking silver in a time of 1:45.04.
  • Kathleen Baker missed her PB by 0.01 to take silver in the women’s 100 back (58.58) behind Masse. Olivia Smoliga also registered a best time (58.77) to place 4th.
  • Matt Grevers and Ryan Murphy were edged out by China’s Xu Jiayu in the men’s 100 back, winning the silver and bronze medals. Grevers wins a medal for the third straight time in this event, while Murphy claims his first individual World Championship medal. Separated by just over a tenth, this tips the scales in Grevers favor for a swim in the final of the mixed medley relay, with Murphy in prelims. Whoever puts up the fastest time there will likely get the nod for the final of the men’s medley relay.
  • Jack Conger (200 fly), Ledecky & Leah Smith (200 free), Kevin Cordes (50 breast), and Zane Grothe (800 free) all advanced to day 4 finals today as well.



Rank Federation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States of AmericaUnited States of America 5 6 2 13
2  CanadaCanada 1 0 0 1

The U.S. more than doubled their medal total on day 3, up to 13, well ahead of China and Australia who have 4. Masse gets Canada on the board.

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Ab Ramirez
6 years ago
6 years ago


6 years ago


6 years ago

Kathleen Baker doesndoesn’t own the 100 back American Record

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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