Penny Oleksiak Lowers Canadian 50 Fly Mark In 25.66


Just over an hour after a solid 6th place finish in the women’s 100 freestyle, Penny Oleksiak was back in the water in the 50 fly semi-finals.

The 17-year-old Oleksiak had traded the Canadian national record back and forth with Katerine Savard a few times, but established herself as the fastest Canadian in history with a 25.76 swim at the Mare Nostrum stop in Barcelona.

Qualifying 10th out of the prelims in 25.87, Oleksiak threw down a swim of 25.66 in the semis, qualifying 4th overall for tomorrow’s final. She’ll hunt down her first individual World Championship medal on day 7 after winning bronze in the mixed medley relay earlier.

Despite zero individual medals, the 100 freestyle Olympic champion has performed well in Budapest. Her 4th and 6th place finishes in the 100 fly and 100 free weren’t much slower than her medal performances in Rio, impressive given she’s dealt with injuries and a lot more media attention this year.

Along with the 50 fly final, she’ll also swim on Canada’s mixed free and women’s medley relays to close out the meet.

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Spotted Zebra

James: Again, I appreciate the context that you provide while reviewing an athlete’s performance. Many spectators who don’t regularly follow swimming assume that Penny’s failure to medal at the World Championships after her multi-medal winning performance at the Rio Olympics is a disappointment. As your fourth paragraph makes clear (“Despite zero individual medals…”), this popular assumption is oversimplified, whereas you present a nuanced position — thanks again!


Agree. The 16 year-old capitalized on being underestimated last year… a little harder to produce the same spark even just 1 year later (see also: Ledecky this week 2 years after Kazan). She’s still learning, and is nowhere close to reaching her full potential yet.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 14th season as a competitive swimmer. Best Times - SCM (LCM) 50 FR - 24.56 (25.12) 100 FR - 53.58 (56.70) 200 FR - 1:56.07 (2:04.29) 1500 …

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