Oleksiak Feeling Confident Heading Into 100 Free Semi-Finals


2016 Olympic gold medalist Penny Oleksiak looked strong this morning in the 100 free preliminaries, qualifying 4th overall in 53.18, including the fastest back-half split of 27.21.

Afterwards Oleksiak sounded confident, indicating she has more in the tank.

“It felt pretty good, it was decently easy. I have a bit more going into tonight and finals hopefully,” said Oleksiak.

She also mentioned that she doesn’t feel additional pressure as the Olympic champion, and recognizes this event is shaping up to be much faster than it was last year.

“I don’t feel extra pressure at all honestly. I know coming into this it’s a lot faster than it was last year, so yet again I have no expectations going into tonight or finals. I’m just excited to race.”

Oleksiak won the final in Rio in a time of 52.70, tying American Simone Manuel. Leading off the 400 free relay on day 1, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom broke the world in a time of 51.71. Sjostrom’s dominance in the event this year shifts more of the focus to her, allowing Manuel, Oleksiak and others to swim a little more under the radar.

The 17-year-old will swim in the first semi-final, side-by-side with 50 free Olympic gold medalist Pernille Blume and defending world champion Bronte Campbell.

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I remember saying Oleksiak had a chance to win 100 free gold in Rio and I was relentlessly attacked. This time however, she has no chance against Sjostrom.


She’s a phenomenal swimmer and so young but apart from sojstrom it’s gonna be hard for anyone to medal her Blume kromwidojo manuel and comerford all look good and there are only two spots after sojstrom who should win bar a DQ


It would take a lot of people under performing for Oleksiak to win this time, and Sjostrom’s a very consistent swimmer on a couple days of rest, so i don’t see that happening. Oleksiak will most likely make the final though.


I predict that Oleksiak and the Americans fight for the silver and bronze. (my guess: Manuel/Silver, Oleksiak/Bronze). Anyone but Sjostrom winning would be a monumental upset.


Just like no one had a chance against C1 in rio right? I don’t think anyone has a chance of beating SS either but you never know what will happen.


Dudeman, you remember that Sarah just crushed the WR on the relay and her fly time were almost a WR too.. It is not like she came to Budapeste and suffered to deliver.


I completely agree, I’m simply saying that while she is light years ahead of the rest of the field, anything can happen during the race as we’ve already seen during this meet. SS is an incredibly reliable and I don’t doubt she’ll win but it isn’t guaranteed until she touches the wall


incredibly reliable swimmer* that is

Ex Quaker


Bill G

It took Penny’s 52.72 in the semis in Rio to make me a believer. I was thrilled with her silver medal in the 100m fly on Day 2. On Day 1 in the relay Penny split 52.72 which was well behind C1 (51.97) and c2 (52.15), Weitzeil (52.56), Sjostrom (52.47) and Kromowidjojo (52.2). After the relay, even recognizing that Penny also had to deal with 2 rounds of fly on Day 1 (as did Sjostrom), I just felt the field was going to be too fast for her to medal (let alone win).


I think the main difference is that no one knew that C1 would get so jittered. Otherwise, she was basically as far ahead of the field as Sjostrom is for this


Not on lineup for relay tonight… curious..Canada giving up on this one?


She probably hasn’t been training for the 200 at all. It also would’ve been tough for Canada to get a medal if she was in the relay. I think its wise for the coaching staff to keep her as fresh as possible for the 100 free finals.

Bill G

It would appear so. Also, the swimmer being subbed in – Paddington – was not top four at Trials in the 200m free (she was 6th in 1:59.73) and is replacing Sanchez (who was 1:58.44 at Trials and 1:59.4 this morning). Possible illness for Sanchez? Or a decision to give a World Champs rookie (Paddington) some finals experience (Sanchez swam int the 4×100 finals)?

Oleksiak has the 100m free, 50m fly (?), medley relay and mixed freestyle relay duties to come so she will be busy in the back half of the meet.


She suffered a minor shoulder injury earlier this year and since recovering, has almost exclusively focused on 100m events. That’s probably for the best, and hopefully she’ll work on her 200m races after the championships so that she can at least contribute to the 4×200 at World Juniors.


Also, she it seems she hasn’t had the best lead up in training due to some small injuries. She does seem to be rounding into form a bit more as her split in the medley was a low 56 for butterfly. And last year a number of circumstances helped her.. all of the favorites under-performed in both the 100 free and 100 butterfly. Be interesting of they do put her in the 4×200 at all assuming she gets to the final of the 100. Unless it is clear to the coaching team that the swimmers this morning didn’t work very hard to just Canada into the final I’m not sure it’s worth it to put her in. She also has… Read more »

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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