Penny Oleksiak

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Penny Oleksiak edges Simone Manuel, Regan Smith sizzles again in Knoxville

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Penny Oleksiak and Simone Manuel nearly duplicated their Olympic gold-medal tie. The Canadian Oleksiak edged Manuel by .03 in the 100m freestyle at a Tyr Pro Series stop in Knoxville, Tenn., on Sunday night.

Oleksiak clocked 53.41 seconds, coming back from .37 behind Manuel at the 50-meter mark. The two tied for the Rio Olympic title in an Olympic record 52.70 seconds four years ago. Oleksiak was the surprise, a 16-year-old who came into the Games ranked eighth in the world for the year.

Since, Manuel swept the 2017 and 2019 World titles. Oleksiak was sixth at 2017 Worlds and withdrew before the 100m free at 2019 Worlds. She ranked 21st in the world last year. Oleksiak’s time Sunday was her fastest since 2017.

Full Knoxville meet results are here. The Pro Series’ next stop is Des Moines from March 4-7.

In other events Sunday, world-record holder Regan Smith won the 200m backstroke in 2:05.94, the fastest time ever outside of a national championships or major international meet. Smith, 17, achieved the same feat on Saturday in the 100m back, where she also broke the world record at last summer’s worlds.

Madisyn Cox won a matchup of the three fastest U.S. women in the 200m individual medley in 2019. She clocked 2:09.88, beating Alex Walsh by a half-second and Melanie Margalis by .54.

It was Cox’s fastest time since she took bronze at the 2017 World Championships. She missed the 2019 Worlds after failing a 2018 drug test over what she said was a contaminated multivitamin.

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Team USA’s Manuel, Canada’s Oleksiak tie for gold in 100 free

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Australia’s Cate Campbell entered the women’s 100 freestyle final as the favorite to win gold, with her sister Bronte and Team USA’s Simone Manuel among those expected to contend. Campbell led through the first 50 meters, but what transpired over the final 50 is something that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

WATCH: Manuel, Oleksiak tie for gold in 100 free

Manuel managed to chase down Campbell down the stretch, but so did 16-year old Canadian Penny Oleksiak. In the end Manuel and Oleksiak finished in a tie for gold with matching times of 52.70 seconds. Taking bronze was Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who has now won three medals in these Olympics.

MORE: “This medal is not just for me” – Manuel

The achievements of both Manuel and Oleksiak, who established a new Olympic record, are historic. Manuel became the first African-American female to win an individual gold medal in a swimming event in Olympic history. This is also the United States’ first gold medal in the 100 free since 1984, which also ended in a tie (betweeen Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Steinseifer).

WATCH: Manuel, Oleksiak receive Olympic gold medals

As for Oleksiak, she’s the youngest female Olympic gold medalist in Canada’s history by nearly two years. At 18 years of age, Jane Bell won gold on the women’s 4×100 meter relay (track and field) team during the 1928 Summer Olympics.

Cate Campbell finished in sixth place, two spots behind sister Bronte. And American Abbey Weitzel finished seventh with a time of 53.30 seconds.