Vernon has a new world champion.
Alexanne Lepage, 17, won the first gold medal for Canada at the 2023 World Junior Swimming Championships, held in Netanya, Israel.
Lepage’s victory in the 100-metre breaststroke was over the current championship record holder, Eneli Jefimova.
Canada claim the first gold medal at the World Juniors 2023 with Alexanne LEPAGE 🇨🇦
— World Aquatics (@WorldAquatics) September 7, 2023
At the halfway mark of the race, Lepage was in third, more than a second back of the Estonian champion. The Canadian stormed back in the final 50 metres to finish first, touching the wall before Jefimova by just 26 one-hundredths of a second.
Lepage’s time of 1 minute 6.58 seconds is just off the record of 1:06.23, which Jefimova set in the semifinals, shattering a decade-old record.
It was the first gold for Canada in the event. Lepage’s time makes her the fastest Canadian woman in the 100-metre breaststroke this season.
Her gold-medal winning swim is also a new personal best, improving upon a 1:07.60 mark set in August at the Canadian Championships.
Hailing from the Vernon Kokanee Swim Club, Lepage will also be competing in the 4×100 metre medley relay, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 9.
The six-day championships run until Saturday, Sept. 9.