Okanagan swimmer races to double gold at Special Olympics World Games

Kelsey Wyse of Kelowna, middle, on the podium with her 400-metre freestyle gold medal. Flanking her are, left, Zsofia Berczi of Hungary and Oksana Borzenkova of Russia. Special Olympics Canada

An Okanagan athlete has won two gold medals so far at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

Competing in swimming, Kelsey Marie Wyse of Kelowna captured gold in  400-metre freestyle last Friday, then finished first in 800-metre freestyle on Tuesday.

Kelsey Wyse of Kelowna shakes hands with a dignitary at the Special Olympics World Games. Special Olympics Canada

READ MORE: Three Peterborough Special Olympic athletes will head to World Games in Abu Dhabi

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The Games started March 14 and end March 21, and athletes from more than 200 countries are competing.

Wyse, 34, has one more race remaining in Abu Dhabi, as she is part of Canada’s 4×50 freestyle relay team. The final is Wednesday. In 4×50 qualifying last Tuesday, Canada was first in its division with a time of 3:14.76. Korea was second with 3:26.53 with Australia third in 3:30.06.

In the 400, Wyse posted a time of 5:42.76 in her division. Placing second was Zsofia Berczi of Hungary in 5:56.53, with Oksana Borzenkova of Russia third in 6:35.18.

In the 800, Wyse had a winning time of 11:44.46. Adriana Sotela of Costa Rica was second in 12:20.04, with Sandy Freeman of Australia third in 12:59.97.

Wyse also swam in the 1500-metre freestyle on Sunday, placing fourth. Notably, Wyse raced against men in this event. Jesse Myles Canney of Canada was first (17:53.49) with Ciaran Kelly of Great Britain in second (21:30.69) and Jesus Francisco Flores of Costa Rica in third (21:55.86). Wyse was fourth in 22:10.18.

Wyse will return to Kelowna on Saturday, March 23.

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