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Oleksiak, MacLennan miss podium in defence of Olympic titles

Last Updated Jul 30, 2021 at 7:10 am EDT

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

Canadian Swimmer Penny Oleksiak and Trampolinist Rose MacLennan both missed the podium Friday in their attempt to defend their Olympic titles won in Rio 2016.

Oleksiak finished fourth in the women’s 100-metre freestyle, an event she won in Rio, while two-time defending gold medallist Rosie MacLennan also finished fourth in the women’s trampoline.

MacLennan 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.

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.

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

“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 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.

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.