Canada's Maggie Mac Neil named Best Female Athlete at Tokyo Olympics

Canada's Margaret Mac Neil celebrates her gold medal in the women's 100m butterfly during the Tokyo Olympics in Tokyo, Japan on Monday, July 26, 2021. (Frank Gunn/CP)

Canadian swimmer Maggie Mac Neil was named the Best Female Athlete of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games on Sunday by the Association of National Olympic Committees in Greece.

Competing at her first Olympic Games in Tokyo, Mac Neil captured gold in the 100-metre butterfly, silver with the 4x100-metre freestyle relay team and bronze with the 4x100-metre medley relay team. She won Canada's first medal in Tokyo when she won her silver medal.

“It is such a great honour to receive this award,” said Mac Neil, from London, Ontario. “There are so many amazing athletes who competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. With all we have been through the last year and a half, this makes it even more special.”

Mac Neil also set a Canadian record time of 55.59 in the women's 100-metre butterfly. She also helped Canada set a national record to win bronze in the medley relay.

The 21-year-old won the world title in the 100-metre butterfly at her FINA World Championships debut in 2019 and was named Swimming Canada’s Breakout Swimmer of the Year in 2019.

“When Maggie won her gold medal on Day 3 of the Games, it blew the lid off of our team’s simmering pot,” said Marnie McBean, Team Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission. “To perform at that level having spent a significant amount of time training in her backyard pool in London, Ont,, confirmed to the rest of the team that unique, less than ideal, training programs could result in world class results. Her three-medal performance was a catalyst for Team Canada – in and out of the water – to believe in great things.”

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