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Maggie Mac Neil captures women's 100m butterfly gold, sets Canadian record at short-course worlds –



Canada’s Maggie Mac Neil swam to gold in the women’s 100-metre butterfly on the final day of the FINA short-course world championships in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old from London, Ont., set a Canadian record with a time of 55.04 seconds after storming back from fourth place at the halfway mark. It is her fourth gold medal of the competition.

“That was the most stressful race I’ve done all year. I knew it was going to be a close race,” said Mac Neil.

The three-time Olympic medallist was coming off a world record-breaking performance in yesterday’s women’s 50 backstroke (25.27), and she also helped Canada finish first in both the mixed 4×50 freestyle and the women’s 4×100 freestyle.

Louise Hansson of Sweden finished second in the women’s 100 butterfly (55.10) to claim her third medal of the event after winning gold in the women’s 100 backstroke and bronze in the women’s 50 backstroke. 

17-year-old American phenom Claire Curzan took bronze while setting a junior record with a time of 55.39.

WATCH l Mac Neil tops podium in women’s 100 butterfly at short-course worlds:

Canada’s Maggie Mac Neil wins world championship gold in the 100m butterfly

9 hours ago

Duration 6:53

Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont., won the women’s 100-metre butterfly at the FINA world swimming championships in Abu Dhabi. 6:53

Canada claims silver in women’s 4×100 medley relay

Canada’s medal haul continued later in the day when Mac Neil, Kylie Masse, Sydney Pickrem and Kayla Sanchez won silver in the women’s 4x100m medley relay with a Canadian record time of 3:47.36 to close out the competition.

“I was weirdly calm,” said Sanchez about her freestyle leg. “I knew to stay relaxed in the first 50 and if it came down to the last bit, I knew I would have something. I saw in the last 25 metres I would have to fight for it. I was happy to see the result and do well for my teammates.”

Canadians Summer McIntosh and Katerine Savard swam in the preliminaries and will also receive a medal.

The Swedish team of Louise and Sophie Hansson, Sarah Sjöström and Michelle Coleman won gold while breaking the European record with a time of 3:46.20. 

China’s Peng Xuwei, Tang Qianting, Zhang Yufei and Cheng Yujie set an Asian record while rounding out the podium with bronze (3:47.41).

WATCH l Canada wraps up short-course worlds with silver in women’s 4×100 medley:

Canada takes home silver in the 4x100m women’s medley

8 hours ago

Duration 8:41

Canada’s Kylie Masse, Sydney Pickrem, Maggie Mac Neil, and Kayla Sanchez won silver in 100-metre medley relay at the world swimming championships in Abu Dhabi. 8:41

Canada’s Liendo wins bronze in men’s 100 freestyle

Earlier in the day, fellow Canadian Olympian Joshua Liendo of Markham, Ont., won bronze in the men’s 100 freestyle event after finishing strong with a time of 45.82 — just 0.26 seconds shy of Brent Hayden’s Canadian record from 2009 (45.56). 

“I’m still trying to process everything,” said Liendo. “The big thing for me coming into this meet was just learning but I’m already up there with the big boys. It’s been an amazing experience and I’m excited for the future.”

Alessandro Miressi captured gold while improving on his Italian record with a time of 45.57, while American Ryan Held finished behind him for silver (45.63) for his sixth medal of the competition.

WATCH l Liendo wins world championship bronze in men’s 100 freestyle:

Canada’s Joshua Liendo wins world championship bronze in the 100m freestyle

10 hours ago

Duration 4:55

Joshua Liendo of Markham, Ont., won bronze in the 100-metre freestyle at the FINA world swimming championships in Abu Dhabi. 4:55

Tessa Cieplucha of Georgetown, Ont., finished sixth in the women’s 200 breaststroke with a personal best time of 2:19.99.

Canada finishes with seven gold, six silver and two bronze medals — the most ever by Canada at the short-course world championships.

John Atkinson, director of high performance and national coach for Swimming Canada, says the outstanding Canadian performances in Abu Dhabi will set the tone for the upcoming year.

“From Day 1 to Day 6 we were competitive through the whole event. That’s down to the work ethic and the professionalism of our athletes, coaches, and of our support staff, working every minute in the prelims and finals to get the best support for the athletes,” said Atkinson. 

“The athletes have had a fantastic set of performances here and it sets everybody up for what comes in 2022 with the major Games and championships we have coming up.”

He said Swimming Canada will continue monitoring the ongoing developments in response to the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“We encourage all clubs, swimmers, coaches, officials and volunteers to follow all relevant guidelines, and be proactive in planning ahead as there may be stricter protocols around training, and/or some competitions could be affected.” said Atkinson.

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Bombers extend Most Outstanding Defensive Player Bighill – TSN



Adam Bighill is staying in Winnipeg.

The Blue Bombers announced Thursday the reigning CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player has signed a one-year contract extension with the team. 

Bighill has spent the past three seasons with the Blue Bombers, helping the team back-to-back Grey Cups.

A veteran of nine CFL seasons, Bighill has played in 146 games in his CFL career and ranks eighth in league history all-time in total tackles.

The three-time CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player had 70 tackles and added two quarterback sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries last season. He was named a CFL All-Star for the sixth time in his career.

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Denis Shapovalov Australian Open third round Reilly Opelka – TSN



Denis Shapovalov needed three hours and 23 minutes to take down Serbia’s Laslo Djere in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday, working through a handful of unforced errors and a fourth-set tiebreak.

It was a cakewalk compared to his second-round matchup.

The Richmond Hill, Ont., native went the distance with Kwon Soon-woo, needing five sets and nearly four and a half hours to dispatch of the 54th-ranked South Korean. Shapovalov lost back-to-back tiebreaks in the second and third sets but battled back to take the final two and avoid an early exit.

Watch his third-round matchup LIVE on TSN4,, the TSN App and TSN Direct at approximately 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT Thursday night.

“It was tough to bounce back every time. In the second set I had a set point on his serve and then the third set I had a couple of set points. I felt I was doing everything the right way, it just wasn’t going my way,” Shapovalov told TSN’s Mark Roe after the win.

“It’s definitely not easy but it’s the case sometimes. I’m just happy to be alive and have an opportunity to play in the third round. I’m pretty young so I’m sure I’ll be alright; I’ve had this before.”

Now it’s on to the third round for Shapovalov where he gets his toughest test of the tournament yet in No. 23 seed American Reilly Opelka.

Opelka has had a much easier road to Round 3, scoring straight-sets victories over Kevin Anderson in the first round and Dominik Koepfer in the second. Standing at 6-foot-11, the big-serving American isn’t much for rallies, combining for 41 aces in his first two matches in Melbourne.

“I think it’s more about recovery to be honest. I mean, Reilly’s game is pretty straightforward. He goes for his serves, he’s going for his ground strokes off the back as well so it’s going to be kind of like a guessing game a little bit on the returns and hopefully, I can take care of business on my serve and hopefully I’m getting good looks, but I’ve just got to stay patient against him,” Shapovalov said.

The 22-year-old comes into the year’s first Grand Slam with some momentum having won the men’s ATP Cup earlier this month in Sydney alongside Canadian teammates Felix Auger-Aliassime, Brayden Schnur and Steven Diez.

Fatigue from a recent bout of COVID-19 forced Shapovalov to sit out the start of the tournament but he said earlier this week he was back to feeling 100 per cent.

“Towards the end of the [ATP Cup] I got really comfortable, and the body felt good again, so that was a good sign. And, of course, leading up to this tournament I had little aches and pains, so I wasn’t practising too much but I’m really happy after the two matches that the body is feeling good and it’s definitely a good sign.”

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Sheldon Keefe calls Leafs 'soft and purposeless' after Rangers collapse – Yahoo Canada Sports



Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe finally blew a gasket after his team squandered a 3-1 lead for the fourth time in its last five games. (Getty)

Tell me if you’ve heard this before: The Toronto Maple Leafs have a multi-goal lead but their opponents come back to win the game.

Wednesday’s tilt against the New York Rangers played out exactly like that, with the Leafs having a 3-1 lead at the first intermission, and the hometown Rags storming back to earn a 6-3 victory with five consecutive goals.

Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe called out his team’s effort during his post-game availability, specifically citing the defensive side of their performance.

“Today, I just thought we played soft, and we made poor decisions defensively,” Keefe said

“We couldn’t sort anything out. It was just far different. Each game has been different, so it’s hard to talk about patterns other than the obvious that we’ve been giving up leads. I just thought we got exposed today for being a team that was just soft, soft and purposeless, and just kind of playing the game and hoping it was going to work out.

“I didn’t think we had anybody that played well tonight. Coaches didn’t coach well tonight. So, today is a much different game than we’ve played in the others where we’ve given up leads and such. I just didn’t think we had nearly enough urgency or purpose.”

The Leafs were without two of their top four defenseman in Jake Muzzin (concussion) and Justin Holl (COVID protocol) in New York, but missing personnel is something that can be overcome. Keefe pondered if it was a larger-scale issue that keeps putting the Leafs in this position.

“We’ve had a lot of really good starts,” Keefe said. “Obviously it’s been the finish or the second half of games that haven’t gone well. …Maybe a fast start was working against us. We thought it would be easy the rest of the way. We paid for it.”

Toronto let three third-period leads get washed away by their opponents in the previous four games before Wednesday, making it more of a concerning trend than coincidental bad luck.

The Leafs will take another stab at trying to hold a multi-goal lead when they visit Islanders on Saturday.

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