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Canada’s Maggie Mac Neil captures world silver in women’s 100m butterfly

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Canadian Maggie Mac Neil raced to a silver medal in the women’s 100-metre butterfly at the World Aquatics Championships on Monday in Fukuoka, Japan.

Mac Neil, the reigning Olympic champion, finished in 56.45 seconds.

China’s Zhang Yufei rallied over the final 15 metres, capturing the gold medal in 56.12, while American and 2022 world champion Torri Huske earned bronze with a time of 56.61.

Mac Neil, who grew up in London, Ont., was behind the leaders but used a powerful turn and kick at 50 metres to propel into the lead.

Mac Neil looked strong with about 25 remaining, but started to fade a little bit, allowing Zhang the time to touch the wall in first.

“The last 25 [metres] hurt so bad,” Mac Neil admitted to CBC Sports reporter Devin Heroux. “It’s always good to be back on the world stage. Clearly I have work to but I’m exiting [for future competitions]. Hopefully there’s some things to work on for next year. I’m more happy with second place than the time.”

Mac Neil won the 2019 world title in this event Doha, Qatar.

She opted out of the individual events at the world championships in 2022 for mental health reasons, participating only in relays.

“I think it was really important taking the space and being able to be a relay-only swimmer definitely gave me a different perspective on the sport,” she said.

”Being able to come back and get my confidence up and win my first Commonwealth Games gold medal was another really important step for me. So overall I’m really happy with the decisions that I made. And I’m definitely going towards next year now.”

A year culminating in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

 

Maggie Mac Neil wins Canada’s 1st swimming medal at the world championships

 

The Canadian swimmer led down the stretch but had to settle for silver in the 100-metre butterfly.

The women’s race was a repeat of the final two years ago at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. The top four finishers in Tokyo were separated by only 14-100ths of a second. That race went to MacNeil, followed by Zhang and Australian swimmer Emma McKeon. Huske was 1-100th behind McKeon and missed out on a medal.

Masse, Wilm advance to 100m backstroke final

Two Canadians will be competing in the women’s 100 backstroke final on Tuesday.

Kylie Masse and Ingrid Wilm both advanced with strong performances in the semifinals.

Masse, 27, of Lasalle, Ont., finished fourth fastest in 59.06. Calgary’s Wilm, 25, managed to qualify in sixth in 59.35.

”I’m looking forward to racing tomorrow,” said Masse. ”It’s an incredible field and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Masse has had a decorated swimming career. A four-time Olympic medallist, Masse is a three-time world champion, including gold medals in the event in 2017 and 2019.

American Regan Smith posted the day’s fastest time of 58.33.

“I’m just excited to have earned a spot,” said Wilm. “I just feel lucky that I get the chance this year. I don’t want to jinx myself but I’m just taking it step by step and I’ll do what I can tomorrow night.”

Masse says Mac Neil’s medal is just what the doctor ordered for the Canadian team.

“It’s always amazing to see a Canadian medal,” Masse said. ”It’s even a greater inspiration to be her friend and have watched her progress through a number of years continuing to achieve medal podiums and great successes in the sport.”

Masse and Wilm will swim in the final at 7:51 a.m. ET, which will be available live on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

In water polo, the Canadian women failed in their bid to reach the semifinals, losing 17-10 to the Netherlands.

 

 

World Aquatics Championships: Swimming finals – Day 2

 

Watch the best swimmers on the planet compete at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

Another gold for China

Qin Haiyang roared to victory in the men’s 100 breaststroke.

Qin set the second-fastest time in history behind Britain’s world record holder Adam Peaty, finishing in 57.69, with a three-way tie for the silver as Nicolo Martinenghi, Arno Kamminga and Nic Fink were all locked on 58.72.

After topping all other swimmers by more than one second in the semifinals, Qin was never challenged in the final.

The men’s race was partly defined by who did not compete. Peaty, a two-time Olympic champion and world-record holder from Britain, is taking a break and is not swimming in Japan. He has said in interviews he’s taking time away for “mental health issues.”

Peaty is one of the most dominant swimmers in his discipline and holds 19 of the top 20 times in the 100 breaststroke. His record is 56.88.

U.S. rules women’s 200m medley

American swimmers Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh, college teammates at the University of Virginia, finished 1-2 in the women’s 200 medley, with Yu Yiting of China in third.

Douglass trailed until the final 50 when she overtook Walsh to win the gold medal in 2:07.17. Walsh picked up the silver in 2:07.97, while Yu took the bronze in 2:08.74.

The top-two finish by Douglass and Walsh marked the first time the American women had achieved the feat at the worlds.

Toronto’s Summer McIntosh would have been a strong favourite in the event but elected not to swim it because of a scheduling conflict.

The 16-year-old, who swam to a Canadian record 2:06.89 in March, finished a disappointing fourth in the 400 free on Sunday. and lost her world record to Ariarne Titmus of Australia. McIntosh already holds the 400 medley mark, set earlier this year at 4:25.87.

Thomas Ceccon of Italy won the men’s 50 butterfly, which is not an Olympic event, in 22.68. He finished ahead of Diogo Matos Ribeiro of Portugal in 22.80 and Maxime Grousset of France in 22.82.

Many of the men’s butterfly events are missing top contenders, including Caeleb Dressel of the United States and Kristof Milak of Hungary. Dressel failed to make the team after taking a long break and Malik said he was not in shape, mentally or physically, to compete.

 

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Malaika Mihambo and Dennis Schröder Lead Germany’s Diverse Olympic Team to Paris 2024

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“The goals have definitely not changed,” Malaika Mihambo declared in a recent television interview, reaffirming her determination to compete in the 2024 Olympic Games despite a recent setback from a coronavirus infection. The 30-year-old long jumper aims to defend her Olympic gold medal, which she won in Tokyo in 2021.

While Mihambo is a seasoned Olympian, Paris 2024 will mark a special debut for Dennis Schröder, the captain of Germany’s 2023 world champion basketball team. “It has always been a goal of mine to be at the Olympic Games,” said the 30-year-old Brooklyn Nets player.

Mihambo and Schröder are among the stars of the German Olympic team, which showcases remarkable diversity with around 450 top athletes. This team includes individual talents such as tennis stars Angelique Kerber, the silver medallist at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and Alexander Zverev, the 2021 Olympic champion in Tokyo. Notable teams include the men’s basketball team led by Schröder, the women’s football team, and the men’s handball team.

Among the experienced Olympic stars is table tennis player Timo Boll, who has won several team medals and is immensely popular in China and beyond. Dressage rider Isabell Werth, with seven Olympic gold medals, aims to match the all-time record of nine gold medals held by Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina.

Some German athletes, though not yet household names, have garnered attention with impressive performances leading up to the Games. In athletics, the women’s 4×100 meter relay team, decathlete Leo Neugebauer, and marathon runner Amanal Petros stand out. Trend sports also feature promising talents like surfers Camilla Kemp and Tim Elter, and 17-year-old skateboarder Lilly Stoephasius, who will compete in her second Olympic Games.

Swimmer Angelina Köhler has recently emerged as a star, winning gold in the 100 meter butterfly at the 2024 World Championships. Köhler, who has openly discussed her ADHD diagnosis, described participating in the Olympics as fulfilling “a very, very big childhood dream.”

As Germany heads to Paris, this diverse and dynamic team aims to leave a significant mark on the 2024 Olympic Games.

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Thomas Müller: The End of an Era for Germany’s Iconic #13

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It is difficult to write something about Thomas Müller that hasn’t been written before, yet at the same time, it is difficult to capture his essence in mere words. That alone is an indicator of his distinctive nature as a person and brilliance as a footballer.

It is said commonly, there will never be another Thomas Müller. And that rings true today more than ever, for Germany, for football.

Germany has dominated world football so often throughout history, each era marked by superstars in their own right. And even then, Thomas Müller remains unique, apart from the rest. The idea of a dominant die Mannschaft in the ‘modern era’ of football immediately prompts the mental image of an overjoyed Müller wearing any variation of the iconic white-black German kits, busy shouting in celebration amidst the euphoria of scoring yet another goal for his country on the biggest of stages.

Efficient, unorthodox, enigmatic – yet somehow simple. Everywhere he needed to be on the pitch, yet he left the greatest of defenders oblivious, unable to predict his next move. A goalscorer and creator simultaneously and equally brilliant at doing both. Unapologetically himself – both on and off the pitch.

You’d never be mesmerized by Müller’s touch, flair, or skills. But you’d be mesmerized nonetheless. Unpredictable off-the-ball movement, a surprise element with the ball, and a shot from such unbelievable angles that you’d never believe how it found the net. And even then what forever remained stuck in the minds of fans and opponents alike was the scene that followed after his heroics in the opposition box — a group of elated Germans heralding around Müller as the scoreboard reads a scoreline just as memorable.

A little boy from the south of Bavaria had a dream and had the entire world watch as he lived it to the fullest. Müller represented his country a total of 131 times and somehow every single time he was a pleasure to watch and a menace to face. The lights were bright, but he shone brighter.

His football was messy but incredibly effective. Tall, scrawny, and the furthest thing from muscular, but it worked to his advantage. He was never the “typical footballer” — concerning both his personality and playstyle. He was so good at everything going forward that the orthodox football terms didn’t apply. No problem for Müller – “Ich bin ein Raumdeuter,” said the star clearing things up about his position and inventing a role in football no one other than himself has or ever will truly master.

Germany’s first game at the 2010 World Cup saw Müller walk onto the pitch with the number 13 on his back. The same number was coincidentally also worn by legendary German striker Gerd Müller at the ‘76 finals. Thomas scored that night — it was the first of 45 goals he would go on to score for his nation. The fans (and notably Gerd himself) were overjoyed to see a German named Müller, squad number #13, scoring for Germany again after so many decades.

Speaking postgame about his first international goal, Müller said while laughing: “I was just trying to boost the sales of the Müller replica shirts!” – the first of many playful Müller interviews after a masterclass for Germany. 14 years and 44 goals later, Thomas has made that jersey number his as much as it was Gerd’s.

Thomas Müller — forever Germany’s beloved #13.

What once was a need to prove himself and do everything in his power to lead his country to victory turned into a feeling of grounded pride for what he’s greatly helped achieve, but the desire to win never died. Müller, even after everything, still put in the same effort he did on day one.

There was never a dull moment watching Müller play for his country. Not everything has changed — over all these years, Müller has had the same playfulness, the same laugh, the same witty statements that never failed to make fans smile. He is just as loveable as a person as he is as a footballer. “I don’t have any muscles – how can I get hurt?”, or “I already have one Golden Boot, what will I do with another?” Müller captivated audiences with both his football and his words.

Müller playing for Germany is what made myself (and so many others) a fan of the beautiful game – because the game was only beautiful when Müller had the ball. A mesmerized young boy and a superstar footballer formed an unlikely, one-sided bond over the television screen a decade ago, and that bond only strengthened over the years.

As Müller announces his international retirement today, it is difficult to fathom that we might never see such an icon play for Germany ever again. We might never see him celebrate or joke around in the Germany shirt. We might never see someone represent everything German football stood for as well as Müller did. We might never see him film a challenge video with Mats Hummels at the German camp. And we might never forget the heartbreak of his last game for Germany.

Yet we as fans can look back on one of the greatest international careers of all time. His antics on the world stage are some of the best highlights of a career filled with highlights. There is no need to mention his countless achievements for his country – he is the most decorated German player of all time after all. Even then, Müller, who has always had impeccable timing knew exactly when it was his time to depart. He didn’t want to push it or ever make things about himself.

Müller’s iconic moments turned into unforgettable games. Those unforgettable games made legendary tournaments. And those legendary tournaments? They are the crown jewels of an illustrious career.

So here is a thank you, from the bottom of our hearts – thank you for showing us what football is really about. Thank you for some of the greatest memories a football fan could ask for. Thank you for always giving everything on the pitch, and finally – thank you for being yourself. We will never forget Thomas Müller in the iconic German white. Danke, Thomas.

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Missed Opportunities Plague Yankees in 6-4 Loss to Rays

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NEW YORK — The New York Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 on Sunday afternoon, continuing a troubling trend of failing to capitalize on scoring opportunities. The loss came despite Aaron Judge’s efforts, including his MLB-leading 35th home run of the season.

The Yankees’ inability to hit with runners in scoring position (RISP) was the primary issue. In the first inning, hits from Juan Soto and Aaron Judge loaded the bases, but Gleyber Torres and Alex Verdugo couldn’t drive in any runs. Soto then grounded into a double play to end the second inning with the bases loaded.

Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning, his 35th of the season, bringing the Yankees within two runs. However, his contribution was not enough to overcome the deficit. Marcus Stroman pitched 5.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits, including two home runs. He struck out five and did not walk any batters. Despite his solid performance, he received minimal run support.

Gleyber Torres made a critical error in the fourth inning, leading to a run. His 0-for-4 performance at the plate dropped his batting average to .229, adding to the Yankees’ woes. Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected after disputing a strike call on Alex Verdugo. This marked his 38th career ejection and fifth of the season.

Soto’s ninth-inning RBI double provided some hope, but it was too little, too late. The Rays’ Jose Caballero homered in the ninth, extending their lead and sealing the victory.

The Yankees began the series with a 6-1 win on Friday but faltered with a 9-1 loss on Saturday, followed by Sunday’s 6-4 defeat. This inconsistency has been a recurring issue for the team. Despite the loss, the Yankees (59-42) remain two games behind the Baltimore Orioles (60-39) for first place in the AL East, as the Orioles also lost 3-2 to the Texas Rangers.

Aaron Judge commented, “No weight. I’ve got good guys behind me. It’s baseball. You’re going to go through some ups and downs, and you’re going to click for a little bit, but there’s months where other guys are going to carry this team and there’s months where I’ve got to pick it up and carry the team, and it’s all part of it.”

Marcus Stroman reflected, “It’s hard to be incredible for 162. I think we have a lot of confidence … how good (Soto has) been — all year, him and Judge — I think we’re kind of losing sight of how incredible those two guys have been. So they can’t do everything, each and every single time. We can’t put all the pressure on them.”

Aaron Boone added, “This game’s hard for us right now, and we’ve got to find a way. We know we’re better than this, and we’ve got to come ready and salvage a series tomorrow.”

The Yankees will aim to split the series against the Rays in the final game on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET. With their recent struggles in key situations, the team must find a way to improve their performance with runners in scoring position to turn their season around.

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