Canada’s Van Landeghem, Bouchard retire from competitive swimming

OTTAWA — Chantal Van Landeghem has retired from competitive swimming after helping Canada win a relay bronze in the Rio Olympics and Pan American gold in Toronto.

Her Canadian teammate Dominique Bouchard also announced her retirement Tuesday after winning a Pan Am silver in backstroke.

Both women were members of the squad named The Canadian Press team of the year in 2016.

Van Landeghem swam the second leg of the 4×100 freestyle relay for Canada in Rio where she, Sandrine Mainville, Taylor Ruck and Penny Oleksiak captured the country’s first medal of those Summer Games.

It was the first relay medal for Canadian women in 40 years.

The 23-year-old from Winnipeg won 100-metre freestyle gold in Canadian record time at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, and also swam the anchor of the relay team that claimed gold.

“Obviously the Olympics were a huge highlight but in general just racing is probably the aspect of swimming I’ll miss most,” Van Landeghem said in a statement released by Swimming Canada.

“I just loved that feeling of adrenalin behind the blocks.”

Bouchard reached the semifinals of the 100- and 200-metre backstroke in Rio and finished ninth in the 200.

The 26-year-old from North Bay, Ont., was second to Canadian teammate Hilary Caldwell in the 200-metre backstroke at the Pan Am Games.

“I think I did my job in bringing backstroke back to the forefront of Canadian swimming,” Bouchard said.

“I gave everything I had to the sport. Maybe I didn’t have the glamorous career I would have liked but I think it all worked out for the best.

“I think I was able to help some people along the way and maybe inspire some kids from Northern Ontario.”

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