For the second time today the Canadian women managed to break the national record in the 4x100m freestyle relay, this time dipping under 3:33 and securing an Olympic medal.
Sandrine Mainville led things off just as she did this morning, although this time she was even faster. Just one one-hundredth shy of her best time of 53.85, Mainville put the Canadians in third right away with a 53.86 lead off.
Enter Chantal Van Landeghem, the top sprinter who split a 52.90 this morning to ensure Canada would be in the hunt for the bronze, was a little bit slower tonight but still managed to keep the Canadians in it with a 53.12 split.
Sixteen-year-old Taylor Ruck followed Van Landeghem’s performance with a 53.19, handing the fate of their relay into the hands of Penny Oleksiak who would have to hold off the Dutch in order to ensure they would win the bronze.
Oleksiak dove in, splitting a very fast 52.72, in order to touch third behind the Australians and the Americans. That split for Oleksiak is the fastest freestyle split ever done by a Canadian woman.
Their combined time of 3:32.89 smashed the record of 3:33.84 they set this morning when Michelle Williams swam in place of Oleksiak. In total, the Canadians took over three and a half seconds off the previous 3:36.44 record in just one day.
The third place finish gives all five swimmers their first Olympic medal, and ends a 20-year medal drought for the Canadian women in swimming. The medal also marks the first time in 40 years the Canadian women have finished top three at the Olympics in this event.