While it didn’t exactly go as planned, Red Deer’s Rebecca Smith and Canada’s 4×200 metre freestyle relay team showed pride in their performance at the Tokyo Olympics.
Wednesday night, the group swam to a fourth-place finish, just off the podium, after qualifying for the final in third.
On the surface, missing out on a medal carries with it some disappointment, but it was a young group, with three athletes in their first Olympic games.
Upon a closer look, the group still accomplished something remarkable, swimming to a Canadian record time of seven minutes, 43.77 seconds, a half-second faster than the record set at the 2019 world championships.
Smith, in her first Olympic games, swam the second leg in 1:57.30.
The 21-year-old went into the finals after swimming a personal best relay split of 1:55.99 in the preliminaries.
“I just wanted to swim the best I could for these girls,” Smith said in Swimming Canada release.
“I gave it all I could. I can’t ask for that much more.”
China won the race in a world-record time of 7:40.33. The U.S. got a solid performance from Katie Ledecky to overtake Australia and grab silver in 7:40.73. The Australians were third in 7:41.29.
“The other three teams just came out of nowhere. They were really fast. We all swam the best we could. That’s all you can ask for. You can’t be disappointed with a Canadian record,” said Penny Oleksiak in the Swimming Canada release.
Smith also raced Thursday morning for Canada, in the 4×100 metre mixed medley relay. She swam fourth and finished her leg in a time of 54.35. Canada was sixth in their heat, 13th overall and did not qualify for the final.
The swimming competition at the Olympics ends on Saturday.