Road To The Olympic Games


Penny Oleksiak leads Canada to historic bronze in 4x200 freestyle relay

Canada's women's 4x200-metre freestyle relay won bronze on Wednesday night, earning the country's fourth swimming medal, and the third medal for anchor Penny Oleksiak.

Toronto teenager wins 3rd medal of Rio Olympics

Canada's Penny Oleksiak won gold in the women's 100-metre freestyle on Thursday in Rio. (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

By Callum Ng, CBC Sports

The astonishing Penny Oleksiak story continues.

The 16-year-old captured her third medal at Rio 2016, by anchoring the 4x200-metre freestyle relay to bronze on Wednesday night. Earlier in the evening she swam an impressive 100 free, setting herself up as the second-seed for Thursday's final.

In the 4x200 relay, it was a strong team effort for the Canadians, who were tied for third after the first two swimmers, Katerine Savard of Pont-Rouge, Que., and Taylor Ruck of Kelowna, B.C.

Toronto's Brittany MacLean, who was too sick to swim the heats, held the Canadians in third. 

Oleksiak then took over, swimming away from China and Sweden to touch in a time of seven minutes 45.39 seconds, a Canadian record by almost four seconds.

The United States won the race, while Australia finished second.

It's the fourth Canadian swimming medal, all by women — a remarkable surprise thus far.

Oleksiak now has her third medal, to go along with a silver in the 100 fly and bronze in the 4x100 free relay. She is the first Canadian Olympian since 1984 to win three medals at a Summer Games, and only the sixth all-time.​

"I don't feel like it's just me that's like making history, I guess, which some people are even saying, which kind of freaks me out because two of the medals that I have are because of so many other girls," said Oleksiak. 

"I definitely just want to share this experience with them and it just means so much to me."

In her 100 free semifinal, Oleksiak crushed her own Canadian and world junior record, swimming a time of 52.72 seconds.

Oleksiak's time also bettered the Olympic record, except Australia's Cate Campbell would steal the honour by 1-100th with her time of 52.71 seconds, despite Oleksiak closing on the world record holder over the final metres. 

The Canadian is the second-seed for tomorrow's final; fellow Canadian Chantal Van Landeghem did not advance in 10th place.

Men's 100-metres freestyle

Earlier in the night, Santo Condorelli nearly put the Canadian men on the podium for the first time in Rio.

The 21-year-old finished fourth in the men's 100-metre freestyle in 47.88 seconds, missing a medal by a mere 3/100ths of a second.

Before the race Condorelli marched to his starting block with the intensity of a prizefighter, the hood up on his red Canadian sweater. 

He hit the water with that same aggression and led the field by almost half a second at the 50-metre mark. An astounding margin for the two-length Olympic final.   

The field would eventually track him down over the final 25-metres as he hugged the lane rope, desperately trying to hold on.

In the end, Australia's Kyle Chalmers won gold. The 18-year-old was in disbelief after the race. 

"It's not sinking into me that I've actually won, so I'm very excited," said Chalmers.

Pieter Timmers of Germany was second and London 2012 Olympic champion Nathan Adrian of the United States was third.

Condorelli's opening 50-metres was 22.22 seconds, only 5/100ths over world record pace.

"I know I don't have the same back half as these guys do," Condorelli said. "I'm used to going out fast."

Condorelli, of Kenora, Ont., ended up one spot off the podium, with only a personal best as his consolation.

"I'm not too worried about it. It's my first Olympics just here enjoying the moment. Yeah, it kind of sucks, I wanted to be Top 3, but there's another Olympics in me," said Condorelli.

With files from Reuters


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