Teenage swimmer Taylor Ruck won bronze in the women’s 100-metre freestyle Monday at the Commonwealth Games, tying a 52-year-old Canadian record with her seventh medal of the games.
Canadian Elaine Tanner won seven medals (four gold and three silver) at the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica. Australians Susie O’Neill (1998 in Kuala Lumpur) and Emily Seebohm (2010 in New Delhi) both won eight medals in a single games.
“I’m in awe. I didn’t really expect to get all these medals so I’m really humbled, honoured and proud to call myself a Canadian,” said Ruck.
The 17-year-old from Kelowna, B.C., will get a chance at an eighth medal Tuesday when she races in the 4x100 medley relay.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it. We’ve put a lot of top Canadians in each leg, so it’s definitely going to be one to watch,” she said.
Ruck is yet to miss the medal podium in seven races to date here, with one gold, four silver and two bronze.
She won gold in the 200-metre freestyle, silver in the 50 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 4x100 and 4x200 freestyle relays and bronze in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
The teen said she was “just so humbled” to tie Tanner’s mark.
“She’s an amazing person and I look up to her a lot,” added Ruck, who won two relay bronze at the Rio Olympics.
Australian Bronte Campbell won the 100 free gold in a games-record 52.27 seconds, ahead of older sister Cate Campbell in 52.69. Ruck clocked a personal best of 53.08.
Toronto’s Penny Oleksiak was fifth in 53.85 and Kayla Sanchez, also of Toronto, was seventh in 54.30. Oleksiak won Olympic gold over the distance in Rio, where she clocked a Canadian-record 52.70.
Asked where she got her energy, Ruck suggested caffeine.
“I don’t know. I have one shot of espresso before every race. That is definitely a lot of my energy, and definitely the energy in here buzzes me up a little bit.”
Kierra Smith of Kelowna, B.C., also made it to the podium Monday, winning silver in the women’s 100 breaststroke.
“I’m so excited, especially after coming fourth in the 200 (breaststroke),” said Smith. “I was so disappointed to be off the podium then, so to be able to get my hand on the wall this time in the 100 metres is such a good feeling.
“Coming fourth feels exactly like you think it would. Coming second feels so much nicer. ”
Australian swimmers dominated the night, winning four of nine finals and 15 of the 27 medals on offer.
Canada has won 16 medals to date in the pool: three gold, eight silver and five bronze.
Four years ago, Canadian swimmers won 11 medals (4-1-6) in Glasgow.