Olympic wake-up call: Oleksiak writes Canadian history, Biles and Black drop from all-around – CBC.ca

Swimmer Penny Oleksiak became the most decorated Canadian summer Olympian, and American Simone Biles and Canadian Ellie Black withdrew from the women’s individual all-around gymnastics final. Here’s what you missed on Day 5 of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

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Penny Oleksiak of Canada waves her flowers after winning the bronze medal in the women’s 200-metre freestyle final at the Tokyo Olympic Games. (Martin Meissner/The Associated Press)

When athletes leave for the Olympics, they have a whole country behind them — but along with their own dreams comes the pressure.

One competitor’s goals at the Tokyo Olympic Games came to fruition on Wednesday. Another champion stepped away, at least for some time, to focus on her mental health. Another pulled out of a final due to a physical injury. 

Before heads even hit the pillow in Canada, swimmer Penny Oleksiak made history.

The 21-year-old from Toronto captured a bronze medal in the women’s 200-metre freestyle to become the most decorated summer Olympian for Canada.

Her collection of six Olympic medals ties the records of Clara Hughes and Cindy Klassen. It also adds to the accomplishments of Canadian women in Tokyo, who have won all nine medals.

CBC Sports’s Devin Heroux has more on Oleksiak’s drive in the water and personal-best time

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Find live streams, must-watch video highlights, breaking news and more in one perfect Olympic Games package. Following Team Canada has never been easier or more exciting.

More from Tokyo 2020

Here’s more of what you missed in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Simone Biles, Ellie Black withdraw

American gymnast Simone Biles and Canadian gymnast Ellie Black will not be competing in the women’s individual all-around competition. Biles is the reigning Olympic champion.

First came Biles’ decision to pull out of the team final. Then USA Gymnastics said the 24-year-old was also withdrawing from the all-around to focus on her mental health.

The organization said it applauded her bravery.

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American gymnast Simone Biles and Canadian gymnast Ellie Black have both withdrawn from the women’s individual all-around competition. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images, Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Ahead of the team final, Biles wrote on Instagram: “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times.” 

At the time of publishing, USA Gymnastics said it wasn’t decided whether Biles would be competing in her other Olympic events.

Gymnastics Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee says Black is out too, saying the 25-year-old from Halifax sprained her ankle in training. Their statement said she hopes to still compete in the beam final next week. 

Canada wows in water polo

The Canadian women’s water polo team has emerged with its first victory at the Olympics since Athens in 2004 — a whopping 17 years ago.

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Gurpreet Sohi of Canada in action during the team’s match against South Africa at the Tatsumi Water Polo Centre in Tokyo. (Kacper Pempel/Reuters)

Coming back from two losses in Tokyo, Canada pulled off a massive 21-1 victory over South Africa. Every player, minus goalkeeper Clara Vulpisi, found the back of the net.

Gurpreet Sohi of Delta, B.C. scored four times, and Kyra Christmas of High River, Alta. got a hat trick. 

Fiji men repeat as rugby 7s Olympic champs

Fiji defended its Olympic title, claiming gold yet again with a 27-12 victory over New Zealand.

As soon as they won, the players dropped to one knee and cried. Then they gathered in a circle afterward to sing a hymn — just as they did after their win in Rio 2016.

Argentina beat Great Britain for the bronze, while the Canadian men’s rugby sevens team closed out its tournament with a loss against Australia.

Canada’s women’s team, the reigning Olympic bronze medallists, will get their start in Tokyo on Thursday. Canada will play Brazil in their opener. 

Assorted Canadian action

Rowers Jessica Sevick and Gabrielle Smith became the first Canadian rowers to crack the finals in Tokyo. The double sculls pair finished in sixth place.

Sydney Pickrem, of Halifax, swam to a sixth-place finish in the women’s 200-metre individual medley. 

In the road cycling individual time trial events, Leah Kirchmann of Winnipeg, Man., finished in 12th and Karol-Ann Canuel, of Amos, Que. finished in 14th. On the men’s side, Hugo Houle of Ste-Perpétue, Que., finished in 13th place after spending a good amount of time in the lead.

And while Haley Daniels of Calgary didn’t get past the qualifying stages of the women’s C-1 canoe slalom event, she was among the first women to compete in canoes at the Olympics.

Before Tokyo, women only ever competed in kayaks at the Games.

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Canada’s Haley Daniels was among the first women to compete in canoes at the Olympics. (Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

Baseball and some former Blue Jays

Baseball made its return to the Olympic stage on Wednesday, and there were a few faces that might be familiar for Canadians. 

Former Toronto Blue Jays José Bautista, Melky Cabrera, and Emilio Bonifácio were playing for the Dominican Republic. 

Their team lost 4-3 to Japan, who last won a bronze medal in Athens 2004. 

While Canada competed back when baseball was last seen at the Olympics in 2008, it didn’t qualify a team for this year.

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José Bautista plays for the Dominican Republic during the team’s matchup against Japan at the Tokyo Olympics on July 28, 2021. (Jorge Silva/Reuters)