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Oleksiak, MacLennan miss podium in defence of Olympic titles

Last Updated Jul 30, 2021 at 4:54 am PDT

Rosie MacLennan of Canada competes in the women's trampoline gymnastics qualification during the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Friday, July 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canadians miss two chances at the podium on Friday

Swimmer Penny Oleksiak and Trampolinist Rose MacLennan fell short in their respective events

Oleksiak will go for a medal again in Sunday’s medley relay

TOKYO — All eyes were on two Canadian women as they fought to defend their titles Friday at the Tokyo Olympics.

Canadian Swimmer Penny Oleksiak and Trampolinist Rose MacLennan both missed the podium Friday in their attempt to repeat their Rio 2016 performances.

Oleksiak finished fourth in the women’s 100-metre freestyle, an event she dominated in Rio, capturing the gold medal.

Another medal would have made six-time medallist Oleksiak Canada’s most decorated Olympian of all-time.

The 21-year-old from Toronto appeared philosophical about missing the record.

(Courtesy: The Canadian Press)

“I have six Olympic medals. There’s only three people in Canada that can say that,” she said. The other two are speedskater Cindy Klassen and cyclist/speedskater Clara Hughes.

Oleksiak tried, swimming her fastest time and eclipsing the Olympic record of 52.70 that she and American Simone Manuel set together in 2016 when they tied for gold.

But Australia’s Emma McKeon lowered the record to 51.96 en route to Friday’s victory, ahead of Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong who touched in 52.27.

Oleksiak gets another chance at that historic medal in Sunday’s medley relay, where she’s expected to swim the final freestyle leg. If not, Oleksiak points out that she’s still young – and there will be another Olympics in just three years.

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A very close competition was in store for two-time defending gold medallist Rosie MacLennan when she competed in women’s trampoline.

But it wasn’t to be. She just missed the podium after she finished with a score of 55.460, less than three-tenths of a point short of Britain’s Bryony Page for bronze.

Xueying Zhu and Lingling Liu, both of China, took gold and silver, respectively.

Another medal would have made six-time medallist Oleksiak Canada’s most decorated Olympian of all-time.

Canada currently has 11 medals, all won by women, including a gold medal from the women’s eights in Rowing. It’s the first gold medal won in the event since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.