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.
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 4x100 metre medley relay, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 9.
The six-day championships run until Saturday, Sept. 9.