Road To The Olympic Games

Aquatics

Penny Oleksiak misses Arena Pro Swim Series for family reasons

The much-anticipated showdown between 2016 Olympic star Penny Oleksiak and American Simone Manuel Friday night at the Arena Pro Swim Series won’t happen as the Canadian was scratched from all six of her individual events for family reasons, according to Swimming Canada.

Canadian was set for rematch against U.S. rival Simone Manuel in 100m freestyle

Simone Manuel of the U.S., left, and Canada's Penny Oleksiak pose with their gold Olympic medals after their tie in the women's 100-metre freestyle final last summer. Their anticipated rematch in Atlanta on Friday night won't happen. (Patrick B. Kraemer/EPA)

The much-anticipated showdown between 2016 Olympic star Penny Oleksiak and American Simone Manuel on Friday night at the Arena Pro Swim Series is a no-go.

Oleksiak, 16, was scratched from all six of her events at McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta due to family reasons, according to Swimming Canada.

The Toronto native was scheduled to swim the 50-metre freestyle, 100 free, 200 free, 100 butterfly, 200 fly and 100 backstroke.

Oleksiak and Manuel were co-gold medallists in the 100 free at the Rio Olympics last summer.

Oleksiak won four medals in Brazil, the most by a Canadian at a single Summer Olympics.


She tied Manuel in a new Olympic-record time of 52.70 seconds.

"The last 15 metres, I put my head down and I bit my lip and I was just going as hard as I could," Oleksiak said. "This is amazing, to tie for a gold. I never thought I'd win a gold."

It marked Canada's first Olympic title in the swimming pool since Mark Tewksbury won in Barcelona 24 years prior, and at only 16 years and 59 days old, Oleksiak also became the youngest gold medallist in Canadian Olympic history.

Along with that gold, Oleksiak took silver in the 100 butterfly, and bronze medals in both the 4x100 and 4x200 freestyle relays.

Since that whirlwind two weeks in Rio, Oleksiak has continued to develop and impress, scoring another 100m free victory, this time at the Canadian trials last month.


Manuel has also been turning heads, posting an incredible time of 21.17 to win the 50m free at the 2017 NCAA Championships, breaking the NCAA, meet, and pool records. 

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