Oleksiak, Ruck Lead Canadian Women To WJR In 4×200 Free Relay


The Canadian women, armed with Olympic medalists Penny Oleksiak and Taylor Ruck, blitzed their way to the gold medal and a new World Junior record in the 4×200 free relay on night 1 of World Juniors in Indianapolis.

They qualified 1st in the prelims by over three seconds, and considering Oleksiak clearly had more in the tank and they didn’t utilize Ruck, they were the odds-on favorites for gold.

Kayla Sanchez put them in 2nd with a 1:59.01 lead-off, and Oleksiak (1:56.86), Rebecca Smith (1:58.66) and Ruck (1:56.94) took off from the rest of the field to touch in a time of 7:51.47.

The time annihilates both the World Junior and meet record of 7:56.68, set by Australia at the 2015 championships in Singapore. When the Australians won that race, they did so by narrowly beating out a Canadian squad (7:57.04) that featured Oleksiak, Ruck and Smith. Two years later and still young enough to compete here, the three of them have made tremendous strides.

This was Ruck’s second junior record of the night, as she also broke it in the 100 back semi-finals in a time of 59.28. Smith and Sanchez will make their individual debuts in the meet tomorrow morning in the 100 free, while Oleksiak will only compete on relays in Indianapolis. Expect her to be on tomorrow’s mixed medley.

Behind the Canadians, the Russians (7:57.33) pulled in for silver with Japan (8:02.09) holding off the U.S. (8:02.40) for 3rd.

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4 years ago

It’s also 7th in the world this year and 4 seconds faster than Budapest

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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