Taylor Ruck caps opening weekend of Mare Nostrum swim series with 2 silvers

Rebecca Smith of Red Deer places fifth

CANET-EN-ROUSSILLON, France — Canadian Olympic medallist Taylor Ruck capped a successful opening weekend of the Mare Nostrum swimming series with two second-place finishes in the 100-metre backstroke and 100 freestyle on Sunday.

The 18-year-old from Kelowna, B.C., posted a time of 53.13 seconds in the 100 freestyle, just behind Rikako Ikee of Japan at 53.10.

Kayla Sanchez, who like Ruck also trains out of HPC-Ontario, finished fourth with a time of 54.03, while Rebecca Smith of Red Deer, Alta., was fifth in 55.29.

Ruck, who won a record-tying eight medals at the Commonwealth Games in April, also captured gold in the 200 backstroke and 200 freestyle on Saturday, as well as a silver in the 50 freestyle.

Smith won Canada’s other medal at the competition, claiming a bronze in the 100 butterfly in 58.91, just ahead of Danielle Hannus of Newmarket, Ont., who finished fourth in 59.07.

Mack Darragh of Mississauga, Ont., was the top Canadian performer on the men’s side, reaching three finals and finishing sixth in the 200 freestyle, seventh in the 200 butterfly and eighth in the 200 individual medley.

The Mare Nostrum swimming series is an annual three-stop circuit. The second stop takes place next Wednesday and Thursday in Barcelona, while the third goes Saturday and Sunday in Monte Carlo.

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