2021 CANADIAN OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS
- June 19 – June 23, 2021
- Toronto, Ontario
- Toronto Pan Am Sport Centre
- Long Course Meters (50m)
- Olympic Qualifying Event
- Swimming Canada Olympic Selection Criteria
- Meet Package
- Psych Sheets
- Live results
Penny Oleksiak is back at the top of her game, and it couldn’t be happening at a better time.
Oleksiak, who won four medals at the 2016 Olympic Games at the age of 16 including a gold in the women’s 100 freestyle, just put up her fastest time in the event since that final in Rio at the Canadian Olympic Trials in Toronto.
The recently-turned 21-year-old pulled away from an elite field on the second 50 in Tuesday night’s final, closing in 27.23 for a final time of 52.89—good for fourth-fastest in the world this season.
Oleksiak set her best time in that 2016 Olympic final at 52.70, a clocking that remains the World Junior Record, tying American Simone Manuel for the gold medal. Oleksiak also went 52.72 in the semi-finals in Rio, but those are the only two swims she’s ever had faster than what she went tonight.
Prior to tonight’s performance, Oleksiak’s only sub-53 swim since those 2016 Games came at the 2017 World Championships, where she placed sixth in the final in a time of 52.94. Since those 2017 Worlds, her only swim sub-53.5 came at the Pro Swim Series meet in Knoxville, Tenn., in January 2020 at 53.41.
Oleksiak was one of six swimmers nominated to the Canadian Olympic team prior to the Trials, earning a spot in Tokyo in the 200 free after placing sixth in the event at the 2019 World Championships.
Oleksiak surprisingly scratched the 100 free at those Worlds, opting to focus more on the relays, where she delivered with four 52-point splits, including a 52.00 anchor on the mixed 400 free relay.
The Toronto native finished second in the 200 free on Day 2 of the Trials, with 14-year-old standout Summer McIntosh claiming the win, but Oleksiak still needed a first-place finish (or second to Taylor Ruck) in the 100 free to assure herself an opportunity to defend her title at the Games, and she did so in a big way.
Ruck earned an early nomination to the Olympic team in the 100 free after finishing fifth at Worlds, meaning that Trials runner-up Kayla Sanchez (53.77) won’t be able to race the event individually in Tokyo. Sanchez will feature prominently on the 400 free relay, and qualified individually in the 50 free on Monday.