Penny Oleksiak Swims 52.59 to Break Canadian 100 Freestyle Record


  • When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24 – Sunday, August 1, 2021
    • Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4 – Thursday, August 5, 2021
  • Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
  • Heats: 7 PM / Semifinals & Finals: 10:30 AM (Local time)
  • Full aquatics schedule
  • SwimSwam Event Previews
  • Entry Lists

Although she was unable to grab an individual medal in the women’s 100 freestyle, Canadian Penny Oleksiak swam to a new National Record in the event. 

Oleksiak, at 21-years-old, touched the wall in a final time of 52.59 to finish 4th overall, slicing a tenth of a second off of her own Canadian National Record of 52.70 that she set at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Splits Comparison 

Penny Oleksiak, 2021
25.42 25.7
27.17 27
52.59 52.7

Although Oleksiak closed slightly faster in 2016, her opening split in tonight’s final was .3 faster, ultimately resulting in a best time. 

Oleksiak’s time of 52.70 in Rio earned her a gold medal in the event, tying her with American Simone Manuel. At the time, their time also stood as the Olympic record, and her time from tonight would have been under the old record. However, she only earned 4th in an event that has significantly improved since 2016. 

Oleksiak’s performance tonight marks her highest finish at a major International competition since Rio. In the years following the 2016 Olympic Games, Oleksiak struggled to find her form, with her fastest performance sitting at 52.94 from the 2017 World Championships. 

Penny Oleksiak’s Time Progression Since 2016 Olympics:

  • 2016: 52.70
  • 2017: 52.94
  • 2018: 53.85
  • 2019: 53.60
  • 2020: 53.41
  • 2021: 52.59

However, at the 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials, Oleksiak began to show signs of her 2016 self, swimming a time of 52.89 in the 100 free. Oleksiak opened the Olympics by winning a bronze medal in the individual 200 freestyle, setting herself up for a big performance here. 

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5 months ago

So happy for her.

Steve Nolan
5 months ago

She was sorta out in the wilderness for a while there, super happy she not only got back to where she was but improved.

Sean C.
5 months ago

I’m sure she’s disappointed right now, but it was a great effort, and what she’s pulled off for these games (especially with the pandemic interruptions to training and competitions) is a real achievement.

Only one more swim to go.

5 months ago

Also the youngest swimmer in the final for the second olympics in a row! Future is bright

5 months ago

Great swim in an epic field. Arguably left a little bit with a slightly miss timed turn. She’s back in the world stage this week in a big way. And still the youngest in the finals field by 3 years!
Awesome 1st gold for Emma and worthy podium with Siobhan and Cate.

5 months ago

She’s amazing.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is an active …

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