BUDAPEST, Hungary – Emma O’Croinin knew she was in the race of a lifetime.
“On a couple of the turns, I could kind of see some of the girls, but I could not tell how many were close so I just put my head down and sprinted as fast as I could,” the Edmonton native said shortly after earning a silver medal in the women’s 400-m freestyle final at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships Friday in Budapest.
“It was a lot of fun,” added the 16-year-old member of the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club. “It was a close race and there were a lot of very good girls in the field.”
O’Croinin recorded a personal best time of 4:08.11 and was 2.69 seconds behind Lani Pallister of Australia.
“This was a tremendous effort by Emma,” said National Development Coach Ken McKinnon. “It was a tough swim against a very tough competitor.
“I’m very proud of her performance,” the coach said.
O’Croinin was also a member of Canada’s 4×200 women’s relay team that won a bronze medal on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Jade Hannah, who has already captured gold medals this week in the 100 and 200m backstroke, advanced second through the 50-m back semifinals.
The Halifax native posted a time of 28.20 seconds, just 0.37 behind top seed Bronte Job of Australia.
“The race was all right,” Hannah said. “I definitely want to be faster (in the final), but it put me in a good spot after the semis.”
Gabe Mastromatteo finished eighth in the men’s 200-m breaststroke in 2:15.19.
Mastromatteo had sliced more than 1.2 seconds from his lifetime best time during a morning preliminary race, going 2:14.30 to improve from 17th seed and earn his spot in the final. He is the fastest Canadian to race the 200-m breast at the World Junior Championships.
Josh Liendo was 12th in his 50-m butterfly semifinal. The 17 year-old Markham, Ontario native swam a personal best time of 24.21.
Ashley McMillan, of Penticton, B.C., was eighth in the women’s 200-m individual medley with a time of 2:16.04.
“It was awesome,” McMillan said. “It was the coolest thing that ever happened to me. I got to walk out and represent Canada in an international final. I could never imagine that happening to me.”
McMillan advanced from a 14th seed to eighth in a personal best time of 2:15.85.
The championships conclude Sunday in the Hungarian capital.