Oleksiak solid into semifinals
Swimming Canada – BUDAPEST, Hungary – Penny Oleksiak will race in the semifinals tonight in the 100-metre freestyle at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.
The 17-year-old from Toronto, who won gold in this event at the Olympics in Rio, qualified fourth in 53.18 seconds.
“It felt pretty good, it was decently easy. I have a bit more going into tonight and finals hopefully,” said Oleksiak, who doesn’t feel stress from being the defending Olympic champion. “I don’t feel extra pressure at all honestly. I know coming into this it’s a lot faster than it was last year, so yet again I have no expectations going into tonight or finals. I’m just excited to race.”
Sandrine Mainville will also race the 100-m freestyle tonight. The 25-year-old from Boucherville, Que., who is Oleksiak’s teammate at the High Performance Centre – Ontario, qualified 12th in 54.22.
The women’s 4×200-m freestyle relay of Katerine Savard, Mary-Sophie Harvey, Rebecca Smith and Kayla Sanchez qualified the team for tonight’s final. The four women finished heats eighth in 7:56.49.
“The atmosphere is so great here. Swimming with these three girls is great, they’ve been swimming well all week,” said the 16-year-old Smith, a Red Deer, Alta., native who also trains at HPC – Ontario. “We really tried our best this morning so we’ll see what we can do tonight.”
Two Canadians will also be swimming the 200-m breaststroke tonight. Kierra Smith, of Kelowna, B.C., qualified sixth, and Ashley MacGregor of Pointe-Claire, Que., is ranked ninth.
“It felt awesome. It was good to get my first 200 breast out of the way. I didn’t feel a lot of nerves because my only job was to make top 16,” said Smith. “I’m looking forward to tonight, and getting a little sharper and a little faster as the meet goes on. My goal is to be in the top eight”
The FINA World Championships run through Sunday. Finals begin at 11:30 am ET each day and will be streamed live by CBC in English at http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/summer/aquatics and in French on Radio-Canada Sports Facebook Live.