Simone Manuel, Penny Oleksiak Tie For Gold In Historic 100 Free Final

Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports


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Women’s 100 Free FINAL:

In what can only be described as an absolute upset from the predicted results, the women’s 100 free final proved to be a record-breaking event in many ways.

Cate Campbell of Australia, the current World Record holder in this event, jumped to an immediate lead in the water, pulling ahead of her own World Record split at the turn, giving all who were watching the impression that the race was hers. But just when she had pulled ahead the rest of the field gained on her with Canada’s young sprint star Penny Oleksiak and the USA’s Simone Manuel joining Cate and Bronte Campbell at the top of the heat.

The announcers themselves were briefly confused as an “OR,” signifying a new Olympic Record, appeared next to Manuel’s name, while a “1” appeared next to Oleksiak’s. Only then did everyone realize that the two sprint stars, rookies to the Olympic stage, had tied for the Gold medal in Olympic Record fashion with a 52.70.

The duo’s time of 52.70 took down Oleksiak’s Canadian and World Junior records of 52.72, while also downing Amanda Weir’s 2009 American record 53.02. Manuel’s first place finish also marks her as the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom snuck her hand to the wall to claim bronze with a 52.99, just ahead of Bronte’s final time of 53.04.

Reigning Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands finished fifth overall with a 53.08, while Cate slipped to a shocking sixth with a 53.24.

The USA’s Abbey Weitzeil took seventh with a time of 53.30, while Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark finished eighth with a 53.36.

Rank Lane Time Time
Behind R.T. 50m
1 3 MANUEL Simone USA 0.68 (3) 25.24 52.70 OR,AM
1 5 OLEKSIAK Penny CAN 0.69 (7) 25.70 52.70 OR,AM,WJ
3 6 SJOSTROM Sarah SWE 0.68 (5) 25.45 52.99 0.29
4 2 CAMPBELL Bronte AUS 0.69 (2) 25.04 53.04 0.34
5 1 KROMOWIDJOJO Ranomi NED 0.70 (6) 25.55 53.08 0.38
6 4 CAMPBELL Cate AUS 0.80 (1) 24.77 53.24 0.54
7 8 WEITZEIL Abbey USA 0.70 (4) 25.39 53.30 0.60
8 7 OTTESEN Jeanette DEN 0.68 (8) 25.79 53.36 0.66

Full results from tonight available here.

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No Name
5 years ago

If you watch the start in frame-by-frame motion, Cate Campbell flinches on the start because a starting light triggered before the actual start happened. It was obvious enough for me to notice it in real-time and when I watched it in slow-motion, I noticed the technical error of the starting light going off early. I don’t know what effect it had, but if she swam the race thinking she false started, it might have had a huge effect. Not trying to take anything away from the other racers, just a very unfortunate incident.

San Burnham
5 years ago
Reply to  No Name

Campbell was far ahead at the first 50 but Oleksiak has an amazing finish and she qualified 2nd so this should not be a surprise. I dont think her start had anything to do with her loss.

Rachel Richardson
5 years ago

Swimmers shouldn’t be looking at the light only listening for the tone. I don’t understand her quandary. The light will always go on before the tone as the speed of light is faster.

Wane Oviatt
5 years ago

The light is the official starting signal. The tone is a backup provided for convenience.

Mike Norman
5 years ago
Reply to  Wane Oviatt

Is this actually an official rule? I couldn’t find anything specicific on the FINA site. I find it VERY hard to believe the swimmers are supposed to be watching for a light vs. listening for the tone, unless they’re hearing impaired.

Mike B
5 years ago
Reply to  Wane Oviatt

Actually, there is a horn built into each block. The swimmers go on the horn. The light is for the timers, when there are timers. The swimmers can’t see the light. Doesn’t t make a huge amount if sense but that’s how it’s done. Flinching is not considered a false start. Movement in the directon of the race after coming to a complete stop is.

5 years ago

biggest upset in the olympic swimming history, you may call it a miracle in the water

5 years ago

No huge surprise as Penny Oleksiak is on fire at this meet. She qualified 2nd to finals and her time was one hundredth of a second slower than the new Olympic record and the Australian world record holder. How is this a massive surprise? She has only just begun.