Katerine Savard caps World Cup tour with bronze

HONG KONG – Katerine Savard of Pont-Rouge, Que., ended the three-stop FINA World Cup swimming cluster in Asia the same way she began: on the podium. Savard won the bronze medal Sunday in the women’s 200-m butterfly at the season finale.

A nine member Canadian group was overseas tuning up for the FINA World Championships set for December 6-11 in Windsor, Ont.

Triple Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu of Hungary won the race in two minutes and 06.09, her compatriot Zsuzsanna Jakabos was second in 2:07.51 and Savard followed in 2:08.82.  Savard also won bronze last weekend in Singapore and reached several finals through all three stops which also included a mid-week event in Tokyo.

‘’I’m pleased with my 200-m butterfly but I was also aiming for a medal in the 50 fly,’’ said Savard, who helped Canada to bronze in the 4X200-m freestyle relay at the Olympics. Savard set four personal bests in six events over the three World Cups.

‘’I didn’t know what to expect this early in the season,’’ she said.

Savard nearly reached the podium again Sunday placing fourth in the 50-m butterfly just ahead of Michelle Williams of North York, Ont., who was fifth.

It was also a great week for Williams who won her first two career World Cup medals with a bronze in the 50-m freestyle in Tokyo and silver Saturday in the same event.

‘’This has been a great experience as a team,’’ said Williams, who helped Canada to bronze at the Rio Olympics in the 4X100-m freestyle relay.  ‘’It was kind of unique having a few veterans competing with the development squad. For me it was my first time being referred to as a veteran and it’s been cool to take a leadership role through the three meets.’’

Other Canadian finalists Sunday for the women were Sarah Darcel of Victoria fifth in the 400-m individual medley; Olivia Anderson of Mississauga, Ont., sixth in the 400-m freestyle and seventh in the 800-m freestyle; Danielle Hanus of Newmarket, Ont., and Hilary Caldwell of White Rock, B.C. sixth and seventh in the 100-m backstroke; Hanus and Darcel seventh and eighth in the 100-m individual medley and Rachel Nicole of Lethbridge, Alta., eighth in the 50-m breaststroke.

‘’I was happy to compete at all three meets here,’’ said Nicol, a 2016 Olympic team member. ‘’I got some good feedback to work on for the next training bit towards the world championships. I’m looking forward to improving and bringing in all these pieces together in the home pool.’’

On the men’s side, Jeremy Bagshaw of Victoria was seventh in the 200-m freestyle and Nicolaas Dekker of Richmond, B.C. eighth in the 100-m butterfly. Dekker is national senior team rookie.

‘’It was a really neat experience for me being part of this senior team for the first time,’’ said Dekker. ‘’Making my first finals on this tour were really exciting moments. I felt I did a good job throughout this cluster of getting use to the environment and working on the different things that my coaches were telling me to fix. It was a formative experience for me and I’ll be able to progress to worlds a lot better.’’