University of Calgary

Dinos

July 9, 2009

Dinos grab two more medals at Universiade

Katy Murdoch of the University of Calgary Dinos is quickly becoming Canada’s darling at the 2009 Summer Universiade, winning individual and relay silver medals Wednesday to bring her total to three at her first-ever international swimming competition.

Just minutes after receiving a silver medal for the 100-metre backstroke, the 22-year-old Calgary native who swims for the reigning CIS champion Dinos jumped back in the pool with her teammates to claim another silver in the 4 x 200-metre freestyle relay.

“This is pretty surreal. I couldn’t have asked for a better first international competition, and the relay was just the icing on the cake,” said Murdoch, who captured her first medal with the 4 x 100-metre freestyle relay on Sunday. “I swim beside these girls every day and I know how they race, and I was on such an adrenaline high that I might have taken it out a little too hard at the beginning, but this is so exciting.”

Peterson’s second 100 metres was very strong, and she handed the reins to Hendriks with Canada leading the race. Hendriks increased that lead to more than two seconds in her leg of the race, but the Americans slowly cut into that deficit and overtook Mitchell 165 metres into the third leg. A blistering opening length by Murdoch brought Canada back within hundredths, but she was unable to catch the U.S. in the final 100 metres.

“Katy got a little excited on the way out and paid at the end,” said Canadian head coach Mike Blondal, who coaches all four relay swimmers at the University of Calgary, “but she had enough left to do the job and get us the silver. We knew where our strengths and weaknesses were, and Seanna Mitchell, who’s a sprinter and normally doesn’t swim the 200, did a remarkable job in the third leg.

“It’s pretty cool, I’m pretty excited,” said Blondal. “I mean, it’s not about Calgary swimming but Canada swimming here, but it’s exciting to have the best 200 freestylers all from our school.”

It was the second medal of the Games for Hendriks and Mitchell, who also swam the 4 x 100-metre freestyle relay on Sunday.

In the final of the women’s 100-metre backstroke, Murdoch finally met Shiho Sakai of Japan head-to-head after the two played hot potato with the Universiade record in the heats and semi-finals on Tuesday. Both swimmers were slower in the final than they had been in the previous round, but Sakai managed to take the gold medal in 1:00.30, six tenths better than Murdoch’s 1:00.92.

“She had a great race,” said Blondal of Murdoch’s backstroke effort. “It was a bit off what she did in the semi-finals, but it’s the third round and all three of them were her best times. It’s pretty exciting that she can get a silver medal and this meet is such a great learning experience for her.”

The two medal wins Wednesday bring Canada’s swimming total to four at the 25th Summer Universiade with three days remaining in competition at the SRC Tasmajdan pool.

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