Shocker: Simone Manuel & Penny Oleksiak Rock Rio With A 52.70 Tie Heavy On History

Shared gold - Simone Manuel and Penny Oleksiak - by Patrick B. Kraemer

It will go down as one of the greatest upsets in Olympic swimming history. The Rio women’s 100m freestyle final will also make the book of history for several other reasons, among them – not a Campbell in sight come the ceremony; a tie for first and pioneering moments for Penny Okesiak, Simone Manuel and Sarah Sjostrom

Want to read more? Our Basic subscription package allows you to access
to all articles barring specific content for Premium and Business
members. Select which service best suits you. Thank you for your
support of independent journalism and quality coverage of world-class swimming.

Log In Register

It will go down as one of the greatest upsets in Olympic swimming history. The Rio women’s 100m freestyle final will also make the book of history for several other reasons, among them – not a Campbell in sight come the ceremony; a tie for first and pioneering moments for Penny Okesiak, Simone Manuel and Sarah Sjostrom


Bad Anon

Beautifully written Craig Lord…. This is one for generations to come, the historical significance and especially how the picks of many went up in smoke, neither Campbell sisters on the podium
.. For team Australia , they never saw this one coming…. After a super succesful Kazan, Rio is an epic disaster, though i hope C1 redeems self and country in the 50free….


Simone Manuel was swimming very smart. She was already on the lane next to Cate on her way out, and especially on her way back.

Meanwhile, Cate swam inarguably her absolute worst swim of since London. She didn’t swim her own race. She was spooked, went out too fast, and INEXPLICABLY, right after the turn, she swam away from Oleksiak until she was right next to Manuel. She didn’t swim straight. I think she was spooked by Oleksiak’s semi swim. But WHY of WHY did you do that? 10 meters from the finish her lower body was just way totally submerged and her kicking was barely detectable from overhead view.

This is why Aussie swimmers need tons of high pressured races so they remain calm and handle various situation like a professional swimmer they are.

w100 free start at 1:34.40

Oleksiak’s second 50 tho…. 27.00!!!!
breathtaking. Once she build on her muscle strength for more power, she may break both 100 free/fly WRs.


Aussies need to toughen up. Lately so many of their top swimmers choked frequently is not even funny.


This is what Larkin says about the sisters in the linked article:

“I haven’t spoken to them but it’s a massive surprise. I guess it’s about racing and handling that pressure and expectation. Something didn’t’ go to plan tonight and she’ll learn from that and come back swinging. I know she’ll be back.”

So yeah, aussies swimmers are not very good in handling pressure and expectation. Everyone can see that.


Casey Barrett is spot on. NBC can’t see past their own; anyone else is sideswiped. They are so over patriotic. I really enjoy Andy Jameson and Adrian Moorhouse on the BBC. They praise their own but are always fair and considerate.


I hope Campbell can bounce back in the 50 and put this nightmare behind her.
Delighted for Oleksiak and Manuel. What a great story for both of them. Great article.


I like the official broadcast.
You could tell Nicole Livingstone was heartbroken after the race but she kept her professionalism and maintained her excellent fair commentary.

Craig Lord

We needed no confirmation, asf, sadly… it was obvious


She didn’t look good in the 50.


You have got to say that Denmark is going to be a decent contender for a medal now in the 4×100 medley. Great PB for Pernille Blume. Fran Halsall looks dangerous to 40 meters. The sizzling sisters should be renamed to the fizzling sisters i am afraid. Their confidence seems to have taken a nose dive.
Really hope they can pull it together, would be great to see them on top of the pile, and salvage some pride.
What was an absolute treat was to see Inge Dekker swim a PB after all she has been through. Quite remarkable. I hope she can drop some more time and get into the final. What a story.

Tony McKinnon

A total mess for the Australian team 11 world leading times and 7 world title holders coming into this meet and only one of each group have delivered. This is a greater disaster than London. The worst part of this is the comment from their head coach at an interview after the women 100 Free when he commented that the the group of swimmers referred to above needed to toughen up and that they needed to learn how to handle the pressure. Apart from stating the bleeding obvious it appears to me he was shifting the blame from the coaches to the swimmers.
It is the respondibity of the coaches to not only prepare swimmers phyisically but mentally as well. It is clear to the whole world that the Australian coaches from the head coach down have failed their swimmers – with a few exceptions – and the nation. It is not a pretty sight when the head coach is not supporting his swimmers when they need it most.
We need an inquiry more after this debacle then we did after London.
The failures here have just been too wide spread to believe there nothing other than a systems failure.


I agree with Tony,

It is clear that the early date of Aussie trials just don’t help. They went world leading times. The Aussie media built them up like crazy. The top swimmers believed their own hype. They became complacent.
When the harsh pressure and the mountain of expectation came crushing down on them at the Olympics, they faltered.

There’s just no excuse that seebohm, mcevoy and campbell went more than a second slower than their times earlier in the year.

They need to move the trials closer to the Olympics to keep top swimmers honest and on the edge, especially those who rested on their laurels.

Tony McKinnon

Here here ask fan!!!!!! And the coaches and management need to pay.


Less so Verhaeren’s responsibility than the personal coaches. Mind you, its odds on that Swimming Australia will take the easy road of blaming the foreigner rather than taking the hard road of looking what’s going on with the swimmers & their personal coaches.

There clearly need to be major attitudinal changes from both swimmers AND their coaches. Maybe a generational clean-out of the coaching stables may be in order. Furthermore, regarding coaches, I think some of the next generation would do well to broaden their horizons and gain wider experience, either with Eur appointments or in the NCAA.

As for the administration; Sailor Boy should walk the plank. Corporate $$$ WILL be lost as a consequence of this meet and this will certainly bring short-medium term pain but this can also serve as a cultural cleansing experience. Have some leading lights (and their coaches) become mentally complacent re their place in the world and lost the hunger ? New funding regimes/incentive structures have to be looked at.

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!