Olympian Penny Oleksiak wins 100-metre freestyle at Team Canada Trials

Penny Oleksiak captures 100 freestyle

VICTORIA — Penny Oleksiak accomplished what she set out to do Friday night at the 2017 Team Canada Trials. 

The Olympic gold medallist was fourth after 50 metres but turned it on in the final 25 to win the women’s 100m freestyle in 53.84 seconds, securing herself a spot on the Canadian team that will compete at the upcoming world championships.

“I kind of just went out a little bit too slow,” said the 16-year-old Toronto native. “I need to learn to go out faster. I hope it’s not like a trend.

“I’m pretty happy with it. My only goal of the day was just to make the team so I can’t really complain right now.”

Oleksiak won the 100 at the 2016 Rio Games in an Olympic record time of 52.70 seconds.

Sandrine Mainville of Boucherville, Que., led for most of the way before settling for second in 53.95. Both swimmers were under the FINA A qualifying time of 54.90.

Michelle Toro of the North York Aquatic Club was third in 54.14 while Chantal Van Landeghem of Winnipeg was fourth in 54.16. They will join Oleksiak and Mainville on the 4×100 freestyle relay team at the FINA world championships in Budapest, Hungary. The four women were part of the 4×100 freestyle team that took home bronze in Rio.

The trials are being used to earn a spot on the Canadian team which will compete at the world championships in July.

To qualify for individual events at the world championships, swimmers must finish in the top two in the final and be under the FINA A qualifying time.

Calgary’s Yuri Kisil had a close call but won the men’s 100 freestyle in 48.90, squeezing under the qualifying time by .03 seconds.

“It was closer than I thought it would be,” said the 21-year-old. “I’m just happy I made the team.”

Markus Thormeyer of Delta, B.C., was second in 49.13 while Carson Olafson, of Cultus Lake, B.C., was third in 50.28.

Edmonton’s Richard Funk also swam under the qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke, winning in one minute, 0.03 seconds.

Ottawa’s Eli Wall was second in 1:01.72, over the qualifying time of 1:00.35. James Dergousoff of the Chena Swim Club was third in 1:02.26.

Rachel Nicol of Lethbridge, Alta., won the women’s 100 breaststroke in 1:07.43, leaving her .15 under the qualifying time.

Kierra Smith of Kelowna, B.C., was second in 1:08.44 while Faith Knelson of Island Swimming was third in 1:08.80.

Sydney Pickrem and Mary-Sophie Harvey both swam under the qualifying time of 4:43.06 in the women’s 400 individual medley.

Pickrem, who is representing Island Swimming, won in 4:35.43. Harvey of Saint-Jerome, Que., was second in 4:36.60. Victoria’s Sarah Darcel was third in 4:39.29.

Tristan Cote of Mississauga, Ont., qualified in the men’s 400 IM in 4:17.40, which is .50 under the qualifying time. Luke Reilly of Richmond, B.C., was second in 4:18.14 while Rob Hill of Chena was third in 4:20.47.

Prior to the start of the evening competition two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane of Victoria was presented with a plaque commemorating his induction into the Swimming Canada Circle of Excellence.

The Canadian Press

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