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Okotoks’ Finlay Knox pulls off comeback for 1st career gold medal at swimming worlds

It was one final burst that propelled Canada’s Finlay Knox to the top of the podium.

The Okotoks, Alta., native captured gold in the men’s 200-metre individual medley on Thursday at the World Aquatics Championships, coming from behind in the last 50 metres.

Knox, 23, lingered around third place through the butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke lengths, biding his time while Americans Carson Foster and Shaine Casas set the pace.

But the Canadian surged to the front of the pack with a blistering 27.79-second freestyle length to take the gold medal with a national-record time of one minute 56.64 seconds.

“Historically, I’m pretty slow in the backstroke, and as I’ve gotten older the breaststroke has been a little bit of a struggle as well,” Knox said poolside after the race. “So just making sure I’m strong through that, and then the last 50 everyone knows you just have to dig deep and go for it.”

WATCH | Knox claims gold medal:

Alberta’s Finlay Knox swims to 1st career world championship gold medal

2 hours ago

Duration 9:08

Finlay Knox of Okotoks, Alta., came from behind in the last 50 metres in the men’s 200-metre individual medley, to earn his first career gold medal at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha.

Foster earned silver at 1:56.97, while Italy’s Alberto Razzetti took bronze at 1:57.42. Casas eventually faded to fifth, stopping the clock in 1:57.73.

Knox’s victory marks Canada’s first gold medal in the pool at these world championships in Doha, Qatar.

“It’s a quite nice piece of hardware and for me it just means that I executed what I came here to do,” Knox added. “I don’t go into swim meets wanting to win, or outcome goals. It’s executing a race properly and that’s something I was able to do tonight and it ended up in a gold medal.”

Wilm gets 2nd bronze

Meanwhile, Canada’s Ingrid Wilm came into Qatar without any individual long-course world-championship medals in her career. Now, she has two.

The Calgary native captured her second bronze on Thursday, placing third in the women’s 50 backstroke.

American Claire Curzan won gold at 27.43 seconds, while Australia’s Iona Anderson was just behind at 27.45 seconds. Wilm, 25, touched in 27.61 seconds.

Wilm’s previous bronze came in the 100 backstroke, which featured the exact same podium.

WATCH | Wilm bags bronze in Doha:

Calgary’s Ingrid Wilm swims to a 2nd world championship bronze medal

2 hours ago

Duration 5:05

The Calgary native captured her second bronze medal of the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha on Thursday, placing third in the women’s 50 backstroke.

Also, Halifax’s Sydney Pickrem set the pace in her women’s 200 breaststroke semifinal, easing into the final with a time of 2:23.77.

The Netherlands’ Tes Schouten posted the fastest overall qualifying time at 2:21.50, with American Katie Douglass the only other competitor ahead of Pickrem at 2:23.17.

Pickrem, 26, won bronze in the event at 2019 worlds. She’ll look to add another medal on Friday at 11:49 a.m. ET.

In the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay, the Canadian team of Rebecca Smith, Emma O’Croinin, Sienna Angove and Taylor Ruck placed sixth with a time of 7:55.71, more than eight seconds behind champion China (7:47.26).

Great Britain claimed silver at 7:50.90, while Australia took bronze with a time of 7:51.41.

Canada has nine medals in Doha (two gold, three silver, four bronze) heading into the final three days of competition.

Live streaming and extensive coverage of the aquatics worlds runs through Sunday on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

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