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Markus Thormeyer wins 200 backstroke for fourth medal at Canadian Trials

EDMONTON — Markus Thormeyer is piling up the medals at the 2018 Canadian Swimming Trials.

The Delta, B.C. product became the most successful athlete to date at the 2018 Trials on Saturday, winning his third gold and fourth medal at the event, which serves as a qualifier for next month's Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, also home to the 2020 Summer Olympics Games.

Thormeyer blazed to victory in the 200-metre backstroke, recording a time of 1:59.13, and flirted with the Canadian record time of 1:57.34 for the bulk of the race.

"I'm happy with my execution," he said, adding that breaking the record is a goal heading into Tokyo.

"That record has been around for nine years and it is time for us young guys to step up and put our names in the record books. My swim today has helped me on the path to getting that record."

The 20-year-old also won gold in the men's 200 freestyle and the 100 backstroke, the event he captured a bronze medal in during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia in April. He also has a silver medal in the 100 freestyle from the Trials.

Thormeyer credits taking a break and rediscovering his passion for the sport for his recent successes.

"I burned myself out and swimming wasn't really that exciting to me, I was kind of just showing up to the pool because I had to," he said.

"This past year, I took the rest I needed and taking care of myself mentally and physically. Since then, going to the pool has been more exciting on a daily basis and I have been more confident. I hope to continue to build off of that and my swims have shown that it is putting me in the right direction."

Thormeyer is a student at the University of British Columbia.

The women's 200 backstroke was captured by Kylie Masse of Windsor, Ont., in a time of 2:08.94. Masse also won gold on Thursday in the 100 backstroke, the event she is currently the world record holder for.

"The 200 is a bit of a work in progress for me, even the 100 is as well," she said. "I always want to continue improving each time I swim. Having already made the team in the 100, I had a bit more freedom to play around a little bit as the pressure was off."

The first to the wall in the men's 50 freestyle with a time of 22.06 was Calgary native Yuri Kisil, who also captured gold in the 100 freestyle earlier in the week.

The women's 50 freestyle event was won by Quebec's Sarah Fournier.

Rounding out the list of winners was Mackenzie Padington of Campbell River, B.C., who took first in the women's 1500 freestyle and removed six seconds off her best time in the process. It was her third gold at the event, as she also won the 400 and 800 freestyle events.

"Dropping six seconds makes me really trust the training that we have been putting in for Tokyo," she said.

In Para swimming multi-class races, Samantha Ryan won the women's 100 butterfly, Alexander Elliot took first in the men's 100 fly, Tess Routliffe won the women's 50 fly and Nathan Clement was victorious in the men's 50 fly.

The Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships also take place next month in Cairns, Australia.

The Trials conclude on Sunday.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press

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