Olympic Champ Penny Oleksiak Rips Fastest 100 Free Since Rio: 52.89


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.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Free

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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.

Ruck finished fifth in the final in a time of 54.58, with Maggie MacNeil (54.02) and Katerine Savard (54.51).

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1 month ago


1 month ago

Happy to see this even though I root for the US. Penny has/had taken a lot of criticism at a very young age. Always felt it was harsh.

Reply to  Swammer
1 month ago

Wow 86 and 0… one of the best +- shutouts I’ve seen on swimswam comments…and well deserved, lets get this one to 100-0…!

Reply to  njones
1 month ago

5 more to get to 100-0!!!

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
1 month ago

Great swim by Penny. Seems to be peaking at exactly the right time.

Although I think your rankings are missing results from Aussie trials. Penny can’t be 3rd fastest in the world this year if her time would’ve finished fourth in the Australian Trials final

Texas Tap Water

SwimSwam is always too slow in updating ranking

1 month ago

Aussie Trials still missing from the world rankings…Penny is now fourth in the world (Cate, Madi, and Emma).

1 month ago

Only two Aussies can swim the 100 in Tokyo so Penny will go in as third seed.

Last edited 1 month ago by CanSwimFan
Reply to  CanSwimFan
1 month ago

world rankings aren’t two per country and there is no reason why Australian trials aren’t included but US and Canadian are.

Reply to  Fish
1 month ago

Agreed. Her world ranking is fourth. Was just commenting about her ranking in context of competitors at the Olympics.

Reply to  Fish
1 month ago

Perhaps they are ranking the countries that show up at the Olympics…….

Reply to  James Sutherland
1 month ago

200m Men’s Australian trials

1 CHALMERS, KYLE 22-98 MARI 1:46.45 1:45.48Q 904
r:+0.67 24.55 51.36 (26.81)
1:18.46 (27.10) 1:45.48 (27.02)
2 WINNINGTON, ELI 21-00 STPET 1:46.44 1:45.55Q 902
r:+0.65 24.63 51.24 (26.61)
1:18.35 (27.11) 1:45.55 (27.20)
3 NEILL, THOMAS 19-02 RACKL 1:46.56 1:45.70Q 898
r:+0.67 24.99 51.69 (26.70)
1:18.71 (27.02) 1:45.70 (26.99)
4 GRAHAM, ALEXAND 26-95 BOND 1:45.22 1:45.71Q 898
r:+0.73 24.45 50.93 (26.48)

Missing from the list

Last edited 1 month ago by Stephen
1 month ago

Go penny! That’s amazing

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Eagleswim
1 month ago

She did it on a 45 minute taper

1 month ago

Can Ruck drop 2 seconds in a month? Will she swim 100 free in Tokyo? What happened to her performances during 2 years?

Reply to  tnp101
1 month ago

Wrist injury this spring + other health challenges…tough timing….

Reply to  tnp101
1 month ago

Ruck should NOT have been nominated on times from 3 yrs ago … she’s not in top form …

Canada is not sending their fastest to Tokyo …

So unbelievably UNFAIR & Political for Kayla Sanchez who deserves the 100Fr spot. Kayla met std and is FASTER than RUCK.

1 month ago

that photo is SPICY

Sean C.
1 month ago

I always find it kind of funny where athletes who have a rough time between Olympics get back into form right in time for the next games, so for casual fans of the sports it’s like nothing happened.

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Sean C.
1 month ago

*watches 2000 and 2016 olympics and nothing else in between* wow this ervin guy is still going strong?

Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
1 month ago

Funny enough if you did the same thing and said “wow this Phelps guy is still going strong?” You would actually answer “yes”

Reply to  Sean C.
1 month ago

lol murphy for sure cruised from 16 to 18. not sure if I would define it as a rough time though

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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