Penny Oleksiak, the Canadian success story of the pool at these Olympics in Tokyo, can’t afford to slow down just yet.
Swimming at the Summer Olympics – 100 Metre Freestyle
With a strong final 50 metres, the 21-year-old finished second in her heat in the women’s 100 free on Wednesday in 52.95 seconds, behind Australia’s Cate Campbell (52.80), and sixth among 16 qualifiers for Thursday’s semifinals in Tokyo (Wednesday in Canada, at 9:53 p.m. ET).
Campbell’s teammate Emma McKeown set an Olympic record with her qualifying time of 52.13 seconds.
For Oleksiak, the goal was simply making it to the semifinals, as he explained to Swimming Canada.
Tenth-place qualifier in a personal best 53.12 was Toronto’s Kayla Sanchez, who along with Oleksiak helped the Canadian women win silver in the 100 free relay earlier in these Games.
Sanchez, who will be recovering from shoulder surgery in September 2020, says, “Going 53 low has been a significant aim of mine.” I’m simply glad to be making some headway and getting closer.
Earlier in the day, Oleksiak set a personal record (PR) in the 200-meter freestyle event, finishing in 1 minute, 54.70 seconds. His performance surpassed that of Canadian rower Lesley Thompson-Willie and American sprinter Phil Edwards, who both won five Olympic medals over the course of their careers. Two other speed skaters, Cindy Klassen and Clara Hughes, also have six.
The native of Toronto hopes to repeat her Olympic debut performance in Rio, where she won a gold medal, a silver medal, and two bronze medals with a personal best time of 52.70 seconds.
Defending Olympic Bronze Medalists From Canada’s Relay Team
On Thursday night at 11:59 p.m. ET, the 100-meter freestyle final will take place at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
Oleksiak did not compete in the 200 free relay heats later that evening, but his team of Katerine Savard, Rebecca Smith, Mary-Sophie Harvey, and Sydney Pickrem still placed fourth out of eight teams in 7:51.52 and advanced to the final that night at 11:30 p.m.
ET. It is anticipated, however, that Oleksiak will return for that race in an effort to lead the current Olympic bronze medalists to a repeat podium finish.
On Wednesday, the Australian team who will defend their title as world champions in 2019 set a new world record with a timing of 7 minutes, 44 seconds.
Pickrem skipped the 200 breaststroke heats on Wednesday after finishing sixth in the women’s 200 individual medley final the previous day. The Nova Scotian athlete also had to withdraw from the 400 individual medley over the weekend owing to health issues unconnected to the recent COVID-19 outbreak.
Kelsey Wog, of Winnipeg, touched the wall in her heat in 2 minutes, 24 seconds, and 27 hundredths of a second, making her the sixteenth and last qualifier for Wednesday night’s semifinals at 10:54 p.m. ET.
Wog, who finished sixth in the 2019 worlds, said, “The race felt excellent and I was thrilled to make it to semis, although I was a little apprehensive about where I would rank.” “I’m looking forward to using the rest of the gas in my tank.” Thanks for reading our article Swimming at the Summer Olympics – 100 Metre Freestyle.