Canada wins second Olympic swimming relay medal at Rio 2016
Anchored by Penny Oleksiak winning her third Olympic medal, the women’s 4×200 metre freestyle relay team nabbed Rio 2016 bronze on Wednesday night.
Katerine Savard got the team going on the first leg, followed by relay specialist Taylor Ruck. Both Savard and Ruck took part in the semifinal earlier in the day that put Canada in a position to compete in the evening draw, their qualifying time seven minutes, 51.99 seconds.
RELATED: Oleksiak wins individual silver
RELATED: Masse touches the wall for bronze
Swimming Canada brought in Brittany MacLean and Oleksiak to replace Emily Overholt and Kennedy Goss from the afternoon race. MacLean took the third leg, before Oleksiak powered home, creating daylight between Canada and the fourth place nation (China) to the last medal in a total time of 7:45.39 (new national record). It’s the fourth Canadian podium finish in swimming at these Games.
RELATED: Canada’s first relay medal in Rio
RELATED: Rio ends Olympic drought in relay
About an hour and a half earlier, Oleksiak, 16, shattered her own national and world junior record in the 100m freestyle to qualify for Thursday’s final, where she’ll have a chance to win an unprecedented fourth Olympic medal, a feat no Canadian has ever achieved at a single Games.
Wednesday’s podium finish was the second medal for another 16-year-old, Ruck, who was on the 4x100m team with Oleksiak that won bronze on Day 1.
RELATED: First medal surreal for relay team
The medal comes with some significance for the country’s swimming history, as well as individuals who took part in the two races.
It’s the first time that Canada has won an Olympic medal in women’s 4x200m relay, its best previous finish was fourth at London 2012.
Oleksiak becomes the fourth Canadian swimmer to win three medals at one Olympic Games, the others are Victor Davis and Anne Ottenbrite at Los Angeles 1984, and Elaine Tanner in Mexico City 1968. Davis has the record for most Olympic medals by a Canadian swimmer with four, a feat that Oleksiak could match on Thursday if she makes the podium in the 100m free.
Goss and Overholt will receiving medals for having been part of the process. When she receives her hardware, Goss will have something in common with her father Sandy, who stood on two Olympic podiums in Los Angeles and at Seoul 1988 – both in the 4x100m medley relay.