Rio rematch: Penny Oleksiak, Simone Manuel meet again in Atlanta

It may look a little like Rio de Janeiro on Friday night in Atlanta — at least if you're by the pool.

Canada's Penny Oleksiak and Simone Manuel of the U.S., co-gold medallists in the 100-metre women's free, will once again meet in the blocks at the Arena Pro Swim Series.

Nearly nine months since their wholly unexpected tie in Rio, the moment still holds excitement.

At the time — both before the Olympic final and even midway through — it seemed like both Oleksiak and Manuel were destined to be overshadowed by Australian powerhouses Bronte and Cate Campbell.

Oleksiak turned in seventh at the halfway wall, well out of the race.

But as she had done all week, the young swimmer then did something remarkable.

With a resounding closing 50 metres, almost half a second quicker than anyone else, Oleksiak drove to the wall with a chance for gold.

As the results fluttered onto the scoreboard, with the building in chaos, it became clear both Oleksiak and Manuel had rippled the touch pad at the same time.

The Toronto native tied Manuel in a new Olympic-record time of 52.70 seconds.

"The last 15 metres, I put my head down and I bit my lip and I was just going as hard as I could," Oleksiak said. "This is amazing, to tie for a gold. I never thought I'd win a gold."

It marked Canada's first Olympic title in the swimming pool since Mark Tewksbury won in Barcelona 24 years prior, and at only 16 years and 59 days old, Oleksiak also became the youngest gold medallist in Canadian Olympic history.

Along with that gold, Oleksiak took silver in the 100 butterfly, and bronze medals in both the 4x100 and 4x200 freestyle relays.

Since that whirlwind two weeks in Rio, Oleksiak has continued to develop and impress, scoring another 100m free victory, this time at the Canadian trials last month.

Manuel has also been turning heads, posting an incredible time of 21.17 to win the 50m free at the 2017 NCAA Championships, breaking the NCAA, meet, and pool records.