Hilary Caldwell finished sixth at the FINA World Championships in the 200-metre backstroke final. Swimming Canada/Ian MacNicol

Hilary Caldwell finished sixth at the FINA World Championships in the 200-metre backstroke final. Swimming Canada/Ian MacNicol

Caldwell bests Olympic time but slips to sixth at FINA Worlds

Canada wins four medals at World Swimming championships

Saanich based Olymipan Hilary Caldwell bested her medal-winning time from the Rio de Janeiro Games but fell to sixth in the 200-metre backstroke at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary over the weekend.

Canada matched its total from the Kazan 2015 FINA World Championships with four medals.

Caldwell was one of two women in the 200m backstroke final. Kylie Masse of Windsor, Ont., finished fifth in 2:07.04, just ahead of Caldwell a 2:07.15. Masse won gold in the 100m backstroke, setting a world record.

Both were faster than Caldwell’s bronze-medal winning time of 2:07.54 at the 2016 the Rio Games.

“It was pretty painful. I saw I was third on the last 50 but I didn’t quite have it in me to close the way some of the other girls did,” said Caldwell, 26, who trains full-time out of Saanich Commonwealth Place.

“It was a fast final. I’m satisfied with the results. I would have liked to be on the podium of course, but it was a good swim in a pretty cool environment so I can’t complain.”

The 21-year-old Masse, who trains at the University of Toronto, set Canadian records in all three backstroke distances this week, including a world record 58.10 in the 100. Masse and Caldwell came in behind gold-medal winner Emily Seebohm of Australia (2:05.68), Katinka Hosszu of Hungary (2:05.85) and Kathleen Baker of the United States (2:06.48).

Sydney Pickrem, a Floridian who affiliates with Saanich’s Island Swimming when she’s in Canada, won bronze in the women’s 400m individual medley with a personal best of 4:32.88 – the second-fastest in Canadian history.

Canada also earned a bronze in the mixed 4×100-m freestyle and medley relays. In total, Canada made 17 appearances in final heats, up from 16 in Kazan, with an additional 20 top-16 finishers, up from 10 in 2015.

Full results are available here.

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