Sarah Darcel of Claremont secondary competing in the Swimming Canada National Trials at Saanich Commonwealth Pool. (Kevin Light photo)

Sarah Darcel of Claremont secondary competing in the Swimming Canada National Trials at Saanich Commonwealth Pool. (Kevin Light photo)

Claremont grad Sarah Darcel swims to silver at Commonwealth Games

Darcel wins silver in 200 IM, Caldwell closes career with last race

Claremont secondary graduate Sarah Darcel has made another big step towards the 2020 Tokyo Games with a silver medal in 200-metre individual medley at the Commonwealth Games underway in Australia.

While Darcel’s career is on the upswing, Saanich-based backstroke specialist Hilary Caldwell said that this was probably the last competition of her career.

On Sunday Darcel made the podium in the women’s 200m final behind Siobhan Marie O’Connor (England), who took the gold in 2:09.80. Darcel, who moved to Victoria to train with Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre at Saanich Commonwealth Place, finished second in 2:11.14 for the silver, with Canada’s Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson of HPC-Vancouver third in 2:11.74.

‘’The breaststroke was the key for me,’’ said Darcel. ‘’It was a great race.’’

Darcel is among a group of young Canadian women who are dominating in the pool with 14 medals as of Sunday.

On Sunday, Ontario teens Taylor Ruck and Kylie Masse earned gold and silver in the women’s 200m backstroke. It was the second victory for Masse and sixth medal for Ruck at the Commonwealth Games. Emily Seebohm of Australia was third in 2:06.82 and Olympic bronze-medallist Caldwell was fifth (2:09.22.)

Caldwell said that this was probably the last competition of her career.

‘’I didn’t have quite the performance I wanted at the worlds last year after a great season of training,’’ Caldwell said. ‘’I really wanted to come down here and be in the [Commonwealth Games] environment. It’s a cool way to end.’’

Faith Knelson of Ladysmith, who trains in Saanich, and Kierra Smith of Kelowna, qualified fourth and fifth for the 100-m breaststroke final in their semis clocking 1:07.30 and 1:07.64.