Michelle Williams reaches new heights with World Cup medal

TOKYO – Commonwealth and Olympic medallist Michelle Williams of North York, Ont., earned her first individual international medal on Tuesday placing third in the women’s 50-m freestyle to open the eighth stop on the FINA World Cup swimming circuit.

Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark took top spot in 23.80 seconds, Allaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus was second in 24.04 and Williams followed with a personal best 24.25 for her first career medal on the circuit.

‘’We came into the World Cups with the idea of improving meet to meet,’’ said Williams, who posted two top-five finishes at the World Cup stop in Singapore this past weekend. ‘’I did that here so I’m happy with the improvement.’’

The 25-year-old Williams, who trains at Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre-Ontario made the necessary adjustments to get on the podium.

‘’I was disappointed with how I finished my 50-free in Singapore,’’ she said.  ‘’It probably cost me a podium there. So I wanted to correct that here and hopefully get a medal. It’s extra special because this is my first individual international medal and it’s great to get these opportunities to race before the world championships.’’

The FINA World Championships are scheduled for December 6-11 in Windsor, Ont.Three other Canadian women also raced in finals Tuesday.

Katerine Savard of Pont-Rouge, Que., was sixth in the 200-m freestyle, Rachel Nicol of Lethbridge, Alta., seventh in the 100-m breaststroke and Hilary Caldwell of White Rock, B.C. eighth in the 200-m backstroke.

‘’I’m really happy with how I performed tonight,’’ said Nicol. ‘’My races are getting better and better and I’m looking forward to more improvements this week.’’

Caldwell, Savard and Williams each captured bronze medals in Rio. Caldwell won bronze in the 200-m backstroke event. Savard (4×200-m) and Williams (4×100) earned their medals in freestyle relay action.

Tokyo is the second of three stops in Asia over a 9-day period in the third and final FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup cluster. Nine Canadian swimmers overall are part of the trip overseas.

Full results: Omega Timing – Results – FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup 2016 Tokyo Japan 10/25/2016 – 10/26/2016