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Canada wins first medal of Tokyo Olympics with silver in women's 4x100m freestyle relay

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Canada has its first medal of Tokyo 2020.

The relay team of Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez, Maggie Mac Neil, and Rebecca Smith swam to silver in the women's 4 x 100m freestyle relay to give Canada its first taste of the podium.

The Canadians narrowly edged the United States to claim silver, finishing with a time of 3:32.78. The U.S. team consisting of Erika Brown, Abbey Weitzel, Natalie Hinds, and Simone Manuel finished with a time of 3:32.81.

The Australian squad made up of Bronte Campbell, Meg Harris, Emma McKeon, and Cate Campbell earned the gold medal, setting a new world record in the process with a time of 3:29.69.

The silver medal represents an improvement for Canada at the event. At the 2016 Olympics, the Canadians earned a bronze, finishing behind the U.S. and Australia. 

Canada is on the board at the Tokyo Games thanks to a silver medal in the pool. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Canada is on the board at the Tokyo Games thanks to a silver medal in the pool. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Sanchez began the race for Canada, completing her 100 metres with a time of 53.42 seconds. Mac Neil was second in the water, completing her leg of the competition with a time of 53.47 seconds. Smith went third, swimming to an individual time of 53.63 seconds. Oleksiak, the anchor, closed it out with an individual time of 52.26, the fastest on the team.

"I think it’s kind of crazy," Oleksiak said after the race. "I think we were all hopeful that we would get a medal.

"We didn’t know what medal it would really be. I think we all just wanted one. For it to be a silver, it’s pretty crazy I think.”

The silver marks the fifth-ever medal for Oleksiak at the Olympics, putting her in a tie with Lesley Thompson-Willie and Phil Edwards as the most-decorated Canadian Summer Olympians.

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