Penny Oleksiak’s first individual medal at the world championships will have to wait.
The Toronto native placed fourth in the women’s 100-meter freestyle at the world aquatic championships on Thursday in Budapest, Hungary, clocking an agonizing 0.06 seconds behind bronze medalist Torri Huske of the United States.
A podium appearance would have marked Canada’s eighth place finish in Hungary, tying the team record set at the 2019 Worlds. It would also have been Oleksiak’s eighth career medal at the world championships, breaking a tie with Kylie Masse .
Oleksiak, 22, won gold in the 100m freestyle at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Australian Mollie O’Callaghan took first place on Thursday with a time of 52.67 seconds, while Swedish world record holder Sarah Sjoestroem took silver in 52.80 seconds.
WATCH | Oleksiak finishes 4th in the 100m freestyle:
Canadian Kayla Sanchez was sixth in 53.59 seconds.
Oleksiak was on the hunt for medals throughout the race, touching third place halfway through. It apparently went well for the Canadian, who is usually among the quickest finishers.
But that wasn’t the case, as Oleksiak scored in 52.98 seconds, just behind Huske’s time of 52.92.
It was O’Callaghan’s first world title, while Sjoestroem won his 17th individual world championship medal, just behind Michael Phelps with 20. It was Sjoestroem’s record fifth world championship medal, but the Swedish swimmer has never won gold.
Defending champion Simone Manuel was among several notable absences from the race along with Siobhan Haughey, Shayna Jack, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell.
WATCH | The importance of swimming in lane 4:
Like Oleksiak, Canada’s Kelsey Wog also swam to a fourth place finish.
The Winnipeg native just missed medals in the women’s 200m breaststroke with her time of 2:23.86. Wog, 23, was aiming for his first career medal at a major international competition.
She missed the 100m and 200m breaststroke finals on her Olympic debut in Tokyo and placed sixth in the latter at the 2019 Worlds.
Wog came out of the blocks with the fastest reaction time at 0.64 seconds and stayed in close contact with the leaders throughout the race, but could never break through.
American Lilly King, fifth in the 150 meters, won gold in 2:22.41, ahead of Australian silver medalist Jenna Strauch (2:23.04) and bronze medalist Kate Douglass of the United States (2:23.20 ).
WATCH | Swimmer rescued by US coach after fainting in pool:
Liendo continues an impressive encounter
Meanwhile, fellow Canadian Josh Liendo – who won his first career world championship medal (a bronze) in the 100m freestyle – continued his impressive competition by winning his 100m butterfly semi-final in 51 .14 seconds.
The time was third fastest overall, setting the 19-year-old up for another podium appearance in Friday’s final at 12:44 p.m. ET.
Less than an hour later, Liendo, of Markham, Ont., swam to second place in her 50 freestyle semifinal, touching in 21.73 seconds for the third fastest time.
Qualifying means Liendo will compete in two finals in a short space of time on Friday, with the 50m freestyle medal race scheduled for 12:09 p.m. ET.
WATCH | Liendo details his confidence after winning bronze:
Masse was also in the pool on Thursday, where she put herself in position to break a tie with Oleksiak and take the Canadian individual mark for herself.
The 26-year-old from LaSalle, Ont., placed third in her semifinal and sixth in the 200m backstroke with a time of 2:09.37. She will race for a medal Friday at 12:53 p.m. ET.
Oleksiak swam the anchor leg to help Canada win bronze in the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay, giving her seven career world championship medals alongside Masse.
The Canadian men’s water polo team had a game originally scheduled for Thursday postponed to Friday due to COVID-19 cases among the team.
Later, Canada’s Katerine Savard failed to qualify for the women’s 50m breaststroke final.