Summer McIntosh of Canada and Katie Ledecky of the US are not sure what to expect in the first event of the season at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Toronto this week.
The off-season rest has clearly served them well. Both have hit records.
McIntosh set a world record in the women’s individual 400 meters while Ledecky set a world record in the 1,500m freestyle Saturday night at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Center.
The 10-time Olympic medalist – who doesn’t often compete in short-term events – won the gold at 15:08.24, taking almost 10 seconds from the previous record set by Sarah Wellbrock of Germany (15:18.01) in 2019.
McIntosh, who also set a world record by edging Ledecky in the 400 freestyles on Friday, finished first in the individual 400 with a score of 4:21.49 to lead a Canadian comeback.
“During the whole race, I felt really in control and strong so I’m really happy,” she said.
Halifax’s Sydney Pickrem was second in 4:28.45 and Bailey Andison of Smiths Falls, Ont., was third in 4:29.36.
VIEW | McIntosh leads Canada’s raid in Toronto:
McIntosh, 16 from Toronto, was nearly two seconds short of the previous world record set by China’s Shiwen Ye (4:23.33) in 2012.
Ledecky took gold ahead of Beatriz Dizotti of Brazil (15:48.82) and Laila Oravsky of Barrie, Ont., third in 16:16.86.
“It’s a fantasy to be a part of something so wonderful,” says Oravsky. “That’s the fastest 1,500 just swimming and I’m part of that. It’s crazy.”
VIEW | Ledecky set a world record with outstanding achievements:
Mac Neil breaks his own national record
Late in the evening, Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont., improved her national record in the women’s 50 metres, finishing first in 24.75 seconds.
Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont., won silver in the women’s 100-meter backstroke at 56.16, about half a second behind American Beata Nelson (55.75). Ingrid Wilm of Calgary won bronze in 56.21.
VIEW | Mac Neil photographed a 50m yellow butterfly:
Finlay Knox of Okotoks, Alta., won silver in the men’s 200 meters at 1:52.75 after American Shaine Casas (1:50.37).
With eight more medals on the night, Canada took its total to 17 as it entered its final day of competition on Sunday.
One of the loudest roars from the power crowd almost came when Ledecky finished. She splashed after looking up at the scoreboard to see her world record time.
“Honestly, most of that emotion is just because it’s been hurt a lot,” she said. “When something hurts that much, you want to see such a great result. It’s mostly happiness.
She returned to the pool a short time later with a free 200 and won a silver medal with a score of 1:52.31 behind Siobhan Bernadette Haughey of Hong Kong.
“I didn’t have any kind of sublime preparation for this meeting,” Ledecky said. “I just want to join and race some international swimmers. These guys respond [Toronto and next week in Indianapolis] I’m on North American soil so I’m happy with it. “
In other notable Canadian results, Toronto’s Javier Acevedo was fifth in the men’s 50m backstroke and Ella Jansen of Burlington, Ont., was fifth in the women’s 200 freestyle.
- Sunday, October 30: Morning session (9:28 a.m. ET), Evening session (5:53 p.m. ET)