North America Recap Day 1: Canada Wins First Relay Medal In 24 Years


The opening day of Olympic swimming was a very successful one for North America, finishing the night with four medals and five national records, not to mention four others advancing to finals tomorrow night.

The biggest story is the Canadian women, who won the nation’s first Olympic relay medal in 24 years tonight in the 400 free relay, claiming bronze. It was also the first medal for the Canadian women in this event in 40 years, last winning bronze back in 1976 in Montreal. Their last medal was done in 1992 by the men’s medley relay, who also won bronze. The Canadians broke and re-broke the national record in the prelims and final.

Leading the way was 16 year-old Penny Oleksiak, who followed up qualifying for the 100 fly final tonight with a 52.72 anchor leg to hold off defending Olympic 100 free champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands.

The American women also won silver in the 400 free relay, getting a new national record of their own in 3:31.89. The previous record was set at the 2013 World Championships, as the team won gold in 3:32.31. The team received fast splits from Abbey Weitzeil (52.56) and Katie Ledecky (52.79).

The two other medals won on the night were silvers in the 400 IM: Chase Kalisz took down his personal best by a wide margin to get 2nd in 4:06.75, while Maya Dirado also posted a personal best 4:31.15 to get 2nd in the women’s race.

Here’s a look at the other highlights from North Americans On Day 1:

Though a day of many successes, there were also some disappointments.

Here’s a look at some of the disappointments on the day for North Americans:

  • Kelsi Worrell, who posted a best time of 56.48 at US Trials, goes 57.54 in 100 fly semis and finishes 9th missing the final
  • After posting the top time in prelims, Conor Dwyer narrowly misses a medal in 400 free (4th). Teammate Connor Jaeger also closely misses out in 5th.
  • Canadian Ryan Cochrane misses out on 400 free final for third successive Olympics by less than half a second (first two were by less than a tenth, today four tenths)
  • 2015 World Championship bronze medallist Emily Overholt finishes 5th in 400 IM final (though an impressive swim for what we’ve seen from her this year)

Here’s a look at the medal table for all North American teams after day 1:


















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4 years ago

Only way Canada wins at anything non-hockey related is if they cheated. Probably PEDs.

Reply to  Henry
4 years ago

We here dont like your overstating ugly comments , I recommand for u to change sport or channel or even life style .

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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