Canadian star swimmer Maggie Mac Neil wins fourth gold at Pan Am Games

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SANTIAGO, Chile — Star swimmer Maggie Mac Neil picked up her fourth gold medal at the Pan Am Games as Canada continued its medal haul in the pool Tuesday.

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Mac Neil, from London, Ont., finished her Games with gold in the women’s 50-metre freestyle after finishing tied with American Gabi Albiero in 24.84 seconds.

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“I’m happy that I could tie for the win. It’s still new swimming freestyle for me internationally,” Mac Neil said. “The good thing is this is obviously one of my weaker events — I really miss having that extra wall. So I’m really happy with that.”

The win gave Mac Neil six medals (four gold, one silver, one bronze) from seven events.

The four golds tie the record for most by a Canadian swimmer at Pan Am Games set by Jessica Deglau in 1999, and the six overall medals tie the all-time single-Games high held by four other

swimmers (Deglau, 1999; Marianne Limpert andJoanne Malar, 1995; Ralph Hutton 1967).

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Ottawa’s Julie Brousseau added another gold, winning the women’s 400 individual relay in four minutes 43.76 seconds.

Brousseau, who is making her senior national team debut, moved into the lead at the 150-metre mark and held off American Lucerne Bell (4:44.27.) for the win.

“It was pretty close so I really had to keep pushing to try to race,” said the 17-year-old Brousseau said. “To be able to actually do it is pretty cool especially at a meet like this.”

In other results, Canada’s women’s eight rowing team won gold, while Dorien Llewellyn of Innisfail, Alta., also topped the podium in the men’s overall water-ski competition.

Canada picked up two gold medals in artistic gymnastics, with Felix Dolci of Saint-Eustache, Que., taking gold in men’s floor. Zachary Clay of Chilliwack, B.C., won the men’s pommel horse event, with Jayson Rampersad of Oakville, Ont., taking silver.

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Swimmer Collyn Gagne of Milton, Ont., took silver in the men’s 400 individual medley, while Canada picked up two more water-ski medals with Paige Rini, who was born in Florida but represents Canada, taking silver in the women’s overall and Hunter Smith of North Vancouver, B.C., earning silver in the men’s wakeboard.

Canada’s men’s and women’s 4×200 relay teams collected bronze in their respective races, giving Canada 20 swimming medals (eight gold, five silver, seven bronze) heading into Wednesday’s final day of competition.

In racquetball, Coby Iwaasa of Lethbridge, Alta., and Samuel Murray of Baie-Comeau, Que., advanced to the men’s doubles gold-medal match before losing to Mexico’s Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya.

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In rowing, the Canadian squad of Kendra Hartley (Calgary), Olivia McMurray (Red Deer, Alta.), Ailzee Brien (Sainte-Agathe, Que.), Parker Illingworth (Seattle), Abby Spiers (Victoria), Shaye De Paiva (Calgary), Abigail Dent (Kenora, Ont.), Leia Till (Potomac, Md.) and coxswain Kristen Kit (St. Catharines, Ont.) led at all 500-metre checkpoints and finished the 2,000-metre race in 6:10.7.

The United States was second in 6:14.17 and host Chile was third in 6:17.78.

It was Canada’s third rowing medal of the Games. Dent and McMurray took silver in women’s coxless pair and Hartley, Illingworth, Brien and De Paiva earned bronze in women’s quadruple sculls on Monday.

Kit was coxswain when Canada won women’s eight gold for the first time in 29 years at the Tokyo Games. She will also cox Canada’s boat in the mixed eight A final Wednesday.

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In water-ski, Llewellyn picked up his third medal of the Games when he scored 2,970.59 points over the slalom, tricks and jump to win the overall title.

Tobias Giorgis of Argentina (2,689.09) was second and Martin Labra Thiermann of Chile (2,671.83 points) was third.

In gymnastics, Dolci scored 14.233 in the floor exercise to pick up his second gold and third overall medal in Santiago. He won the men’s all-around title on Monday, becoming the first Canadian in 60 years to win the event.

Brazil’s Arthur Mariano won silver with 13.933 points and Colombia’s Juan Larrahondo scored 13.366 points for bronze.

Zachary scored 14.400 points in pommel horse, just ahead of Rampersad (14.333).

Nelson Vuilbe Morales of Puerto Rico was third with 14.133 points.

Check out our sports section for the latest news and analysis.

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