Len Catling, UBC Athletics
VANCOUVER – In an event that is becoming a favourite of swimming fans across the globe, UBC Thunderbird Yuri Kisiljoined a star-studded Canadian 4 x 100 metre mixed medley relay team that captured a bronze medal Wednesday at the FINA World Aquatic Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Kisil, who swam the freestyle anchor leg of the relay, joined forces with Kylie Masse (backstroke), Richard Funk (breaststroke), and Penny Oleksiak (butterfly) to finish the race in a tie with China for bronze in a time of 3:41.25, smashing the Canadian record for the event. The United States finished first with a time of 3:38.56, setting a new world record. Australia was second, with a time of 3:41.11.
The dynamic event, which allows teams to put their country's best swimmers in the four different disciplines, regardless of gender, is as much an exercise in number-crunching strategy as it is in simply swimming fast. Kisil was able to overtake three other teams in his anchor leg to get Canada into the medals, showing he had enough energy despite racing the individual 100 metre freestyle earlier in the day.
"Although Yuri fell short of qualifying for the men's 100 metre freestyle final in his best individual swim of the meet so far, he was able to turn it around and power home on the anchor leg to help Canada earn a bronze medal in the 4 x 100 mixed medley relay," said Kisil's UBC swimming coach Steve Price. "That was one of his best relay splits ever and Canada needed that swim to find the podium. We are all proud of his accomplishments today."
The mixed medley relay was added to the world championships two years ago in Kazan, Russia. It will be part of the Olympic program for the first time at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
As mentioned, Kisil also swam a 48.50 in the semi-final of the men's 100 metre freestyle on Wednesday, finishing 10th overall and missing a chance to appear in the final.
"It was OK, not a bad time, but not really what I wanted to go. It was a learning experience," said Kisil, whose only two faster times from a flat start came in Rio where he also finished 10th. "I messed up a couple things I could work on. I need to work on my touch, which was super long, and my breakout on the turn."
Watch the FINA World Championships live stream here: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/summer/aquatics
Full meet result available here: http://www.omegatiming.com/Competition?id=000111010AFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF&day=2
-with files from Swimming Canada