Canadian Olympic Trials, Day 5 Prelims: Penny Oleksiak Top Seed in 100 Free

Photo Courtesy: Swimming Canada/Ian McDonald

Canadian Olympic Trials, Day 5 Prelims: Penny Oleksiak Top Seed in 100 Free

Penny Oleksiak didn’t have the opening event she would’ve wanted at Canadian Olympic Trials, barely making the finals of the women’s 200 free.

Friday was more like what we’re used to seeing from Canada’s most decorated Olympian.

Oleksiak set the pace in the morning heats of the women’s 100 free with a time of 54.12 seconds. She was .49 seconds ahead of Mary-Sophie Harvey.

It was a busy morning at Toronto’s Pan Am Sports Centre that featured one Olympic A cut and three Canadian records among the Para swimmers

Women’s 100 Freestyle

Penny Oleksiak is about to turn 24 and on her third Olympic cycle. Eight years after winning gold in the 100 free, that may still be her strongest event, even as her area of specialty shifts down from the 200 to the 50 and the 100. The 50 remains this week at Trials.

In the 100, she looked good, going 54.12. That’s shy of the A cut of 53.61 that the field will be chasing at night. Oleksiak has put herself in good position, though, with Canada’s discretionary relay selection system, to be part of the team for Paris. (Canada has all seven relays there.)

Second was Mary-Sophie Harvey in 54.61, continuing a stellar meet for her. Brooklyn Douthwright showed her front-end speed in 54.95 for third, with Rebecca Smith fourth, .03 back. Taylor Ruck was fifth in 55.23.

Katerine Savard looks set to miss out on a bid for her fourth Olympics, finishing 11th. She still has the 50 remaining. She was fifth in the 100 fly and 10th in the 200 free.

Summer McIntosh, after last night’s world record, scratched the event, as did Maggie MacNeil.

Men’s 200 backstroke

It’s been a resurgent week for Canadian male backstroke, with Blake Tierney and Javier Acevedo booking A cuts in the 100. Aiden Norman could join them. The teenager went 1:58.30 to finish first in the 200 back. He’s within eight tenths of the Olympic A cut. It’s a best time for the teen by a clean second.

Ethan Ekk, another youngster, was second in 1:59.68. Tierney was third in 1:59.71.

Women’s 200 breaststroke

Kelsey Wog was under the A standard in prelims in 2:23.71 to dominate the field and get back to her old form. She was more than six seconds clear of Sydney Pickrem, who went 2:28.06, though Pickrem will likely have something to say about that at night.

Behind them is Alexanne Page in third, followed by 100 breast winner Sophie Angus. Tessa Cieplucha was seventh.

Men’s 200 butterfly

Ilya Kharun missed the automatic qualifying time by .01 in the morning, going 1:55.79. (He’s already been under that mark in setting the Canadian record late last summer.) At night, it’ll be Kharun’s race to lose, as he’s nearly four seconds clear of the field.

Max Malakhovets was second in 1:59.55. Kevin Zhang and Sebastian Lunak also broke two minutes.

Para events

Sebastian Massabie went 53.74 in the men’s 50 backstroke. That lowers his S4 record of 55.02 set in March.

Hannah Ouellette went 4:23:06 in the women’s 200 IM, which is an SM5 record. She clips more than seven seconds off the time done by Jessica Tinney last month.

Nicholas Bennett was first in the men’s 200 IM in 2:07.68. For the SM14 swimmer, it’s a best time by three tenths to lower his national mark.

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