First medal: Canada swims to silver in women's 4x100 freestyle relay

TOKYO — Canada has its first medal of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after the women's 4x100 freestyle relay team raced to silver.

Penny Oleksiak and Kayla Sanchez of Toronto, Margaret Mac Neil of London, Ont., and Rebecca Smith of Red Deer, Alta., fiished in a time of three minutes 32.78 seconds as Canada picked up a medal in the event for a second straight Games.

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Australia won gold in a world-record time of 3:29.69, while the United States finished third in 3:32.81.

Oleksiak swam the anchor leg and narrowly beat out American Simone Manuel at the wall.

Canada's women are looking to duplicate the success they had in the pool at the 2016 Rio Games, where they picked up six medals.

Oleksiak and Taylor Ruck, who swam in the heats but was replaced by Mac Neil in the final, were 16-year-old members of the relay team that won bronze for Canada's first medal in Rio.

Oleksiak went on to win 100-metre freestyle gold, 100-metre butterfly silver and anchor Canada to another relay bronze in the 4 x 200.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 24, 2021.

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