Oleksiak Leads As Canada Destroys National 4×200 Free Relay Record


  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Swimming: August 6-13
  • Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Barra Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro
  • Prelims – 9:00 a.m/12:00 p.m PST/EST (1:00 p.m local), Finals – 6:00 p.m/9:00 p.m PST/EST (10:00 p.m local)
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Led by a world-class anchor leg from Penny Oleksiak, Canada obliterated its own national record in the women’s 4×200 free relay to earn Olympic bronze.

The team of Katerine Savard, Taylor Ruck, Brittany MacLean and Oleksiak went 7:45.39 to chop almost four full seconds off the standing Canadian record. Even in a race as long as the 4×200, that amounts to about a full second per relay leg.

Oleksiak was the difference-maker, outsplitting every leg of the previous record-holding relay by two full seconds. Her 1:54.94 was the 4th-best of the entire field, falling short of only the three individual Olympic 200 free medalists, Katie Ledecky of the U.S., Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden and Australia’s Emma McKeon.

The 15-year-old Oleksiak has maybe been the young star of these games, setting junior world records in the 100 fly and free and winning silver in the former event.

Ruck, another young standout swimming under the maple leaf, was 1:56.18 on her leg, and MacLean overcame an illness (which kept her off this relay in prelims) to split 1:56.18. Savard led off in 1:57.91.

Interestingly enough, MacLean’s older sister Heather swam on the previous record-setting relay in 2009.

Here’s a look at the splits of the old record versus the new one. Even more impressive: the previous record was a 2009 super-suit era record, and Canada still smashed it by a wide margin it what’s been an outstanding Olympics for the nation.

Canada 2016 Canada 2009
Katerine Savard 1:57.91 Genevieve Saumur 1:56.97
Taylor Ruck 1:56.18 Julia Wilkinson 1:57.39
Brittany MacLean 1:56.36 Alexandra Gabor 1:57.07
Penny Oleksiak 1:54.94 Heather MacLean 1:57.71
7:45.39 7:49.14

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Brittany is ill??

I Live for this

I don’t think there has been a better relay performance this meet than Canada taking the bronze in this relay. To take off 4 seconds from your national record and get a bronze which each lady stepping up with incredible splits is great for the future of Canadian swimming. Only 2 seconds away from the US for gold in this distance could make it interesting in the future years.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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