Ingrid Wilm, Nina Kucheran, Hannah Genich and Ainsley McMurray earned Canada’s third medal of the Games and first in swimming, finishing third in the 4 x 100 m medley relay in 4:03.32 on Wednesday night at Piscina Scandone.
On Day 7 of competition, the women's water polo team captured a stunning 10-9 shootout victory over the USA to earn a spot in the semifinal, where they will face Italy on Friday. On the track, Maddy Price and Jenna Westaway ran finals in the 400 and 800 metres, respectively. Price finished sixth, while Westaway was just beaten at the line to finish fifth.
Sitting in fourth after 350 metres, McMurray out-touched Russia’s Mariia Baklakova by 0.23 seconds to wrap up Canada’s swimming schedule at the 30th Summer Universiade.
“I flipped for the second 50 and I saw some white water splashing two lanes over and I was like, 'Okay, time to go,' and I just moved as fast as I could. I split the fastest I ever have in my life, so I’m really proud of myself and of all the other girls too,” said McMurray. “It was so exciting.”
Wilm got the team off to a good start, sitting in third after the backstroke leg in 1:01.04.
“It wasn’t my fastest swim so far but I felt really good going out,” said the arts major from UBC. “It felt nice and smooth. Coming back was just all about getting to the wall for my teammates to take over. It’s so great when you’re on a relay because the atmosphere is so great and you can feel everyone cheering for you, so that was awesome in the last 20 metres there.”
Kucheran moved the Canadians into second place after the first 50 metres of the breaststroke en route to a 1:08.03, a narrow fourth behind the Australians. Genich swam the butterfly leg in 58.65, maintaining Canada’s fourth position heading into fellow University of Toronto teammate McMurray’s freestyle.
Earlier in the night, Kennedy Goss of Indiana University placed fifth in the 400 m freestyle in 4:13.23, while Sophie Angus of Northwestern University finished fifth in the women's 50 m breaststroke final in 31.32 seconds.
Water Polo (W)
At Casoria, Toronto goalie Rachael Jaffe made not one, but two penalty saves on USA’s Denise Mammolito to give Canada an exciting 10-9 victory over the USA in the women’s water polo quarter-final at Piscina Comunale de Casoria on Wednesday.
Jaffe denied Mammolito on a fourth-quarter penalty, that allowed Canada to then tie and force a shootout, and then turned away Mammolito and the USA’s final shoot-out attempt to seal the victory and semifinal berth for Canada.
“We played with a lot of heart and we stuck to the game plan,” said an elated Jaffe after the game. “On a penalty, the shooter is supposed to score, so I just tried my best and I guess a long arm span helps.”
The Canadians will play Italy in the semifinals Friday at 12 p.m. EDT / 9 a.m. PDT (6:00 p.m. local time) at Piscina Scandone in Naples, a different venue than the preliminaries.
At Naples, the Canadian team wrapped up the third day of athletics competition with no podium finishes yet but with the bulk of Canada’s chances still to come.
In back-to-back events on the track Wednesday night, Canadians Maddy Price and Jenna Westaway ran finals in the 400 and 800 metre, respectively. Price raced to a strong sixth-place finish in the 400m with a time of 52.08, while Westaway was just beaten at the line to finish fifth in a time of 2:02.65.
“In these Championship meets, the rounds allow us to sharpen up and learn from each run in order to try and put it altogether for the final. Our IST and coaching staff have done an amazing job of keeping our bodies ready after each round,” said Price. “It’s always an honour to represent Canada and to do our best to make our country and team proud. I am stoked to run the relay in the coming days.”
The other Canadian in a final Wednesday was Ashley Pryke in the javelin. Pryke, who threw a personal best in qualifying at 57.47, finished well back in the final and wrapped up the competition in 12th place.
The final event of Wednesday’s evening session was the heats in the women’s 5,000 metres, where Nicole Hutchinson qualified for Saturday’s final in the event in her time of 16:34.38.
In the morning session Wednesday, Canadians Joy SpearChief-Morris and Keira Christie-Galloway both qualified for the semifinals in the women’s 100-metre hurdles. SpearChief-Morris was the third-fastest qualifier with her time of 13.36 seconds, while Christie-Galloway qualified 10th in 13.53. The semifinals and final in the event are set for Thursday evening. And in the women’s hammer throw, Chanell Botsis grabbed the last available qualifying spot with her throw of 60.65 m to qualify for Friday’s final.
Canada will look to reach the podium at San Paolo Stadium for the first time Thursday with some solid chances to medal, including defending champion Brittany Crew in the shot put along with the hurdlers.
At Caserta, the women's soccer team fell 2-1 against South Korea on Wednesday at Stadio Alberto Pinto in the consolation semifinal.
After a scoreless first half punctuated by a violent thunderstorm, the South Koreans scored twice in less than two minutes in the 68th and 70th, each time captain Namgung Yeji's work.
Canada responded in the 76th through Thea Nour. Mégane Sauve hit the bar with a solid strike barely two minutes later, and Kristen Sakaki thought she had equalized in the 82nd minute but the referee called back the play on an offside.
The Canadians will face Italy for seventh place on Friday at 11:00 am EDT / 8:00 am PDT (5:00 pm local time). Canada will have the opportunity to improve its eighth-place position at the recent Taipei 2017 FISU Games.
At Cercola, Team Canada ended their Universiade campaign on a high note, winning their second straight game, 67-54, over Mexico to finish 13th overall.
Canada (2-4) got out to a 21-7 lead after the first quarter and didn’t look back. The Canucks were up 31-14 at halftime and 51-29 after the third frame en route to the 13-point victory.
Canada shot 35 per cent from the floor, compared to Mexico’s 25 per cent and won the rebounding battle 46-37. Sarah-Jane Marois, the 2018-19 U SPORTS Player of the Year from Laval University, recorded a team-high 14 points, while Nicole Gilmore of the Carleton Ravens had a double-double of 10 points and 11 boards in the victory.
At Eboli, Canada dropped a 3-1 (25-19, 17-25, 23-25, 19-25) decision to Brazil in consolation semifinal action at Palasele.
University of Alberta standout Kory White led Canada with 17 points, while Trinity Western’s Hilary Howe had 15 points and Caroline Livingston of Queen’s University notched 10 points in the loss.
Canada (2-3) will take on the Czech Republic, who fell 3-2 to Germany in their consolation semifinal, in the 7th-place match Thursday at 6 a.m. EDT / 3 a.m. PDT (12 p.m. local).
Team Canada Medal Summary
Ingrid Wilm, Nina Kucheran, Hannah Genich & Ainsley McMurray, Swimming, women’s 4x100m medley relay
Lauren Gosselin-Paradis, Diving, men’s platform
Laurent Gosselin-Paradis & Ethan Pitman, Diving, men’s synchronized platform