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summer time! Canadian McIntosh sets the world record for the 400 meters at the Olympic Swimming Trials National sports

summer time!  Canadian McIntosh sets the world record for the 400 meters at the Olympic Swimming Trials  National sports

TORONTO – The unlikely has become somewhat routine for Canadian swimmer Summer McIntosh.

She produced another impressive performance at the Olympic and Paralympic Trials on Thursday night by trimming her world record time by more than a second in the 400-meter individual medley.

“It sounds crazy, but I think every time you dive into the pool we expect something amazing, because that's the kind of sport it is,” said teammate Kylie Maas.

McIntosh led by a full second at the 50 meter mark and was on a world record pace halfway through the race. She seemed to get stronger in the last 100 meters and finished the race in four minutes and 24.38 seconds.

“I was really focused on enjoying the race and taking it 100 at a time because it's a mentally challenging race,” McIntosh said. “Overall I'm really happy. I've always enjoyed it and I certainly did (tonight).”

Her previous world mark of 4:25.87 was also set at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Center in April 2023.

This was McIntosh's third victory in the trials. She started the event on Monday with a dominant display in the 400 freestyle, leaving the field far behind her.

The 17-year-old recorded a comfortable win in the 200m free the following night, with second-placed Marie-Sophie Harvey noting it was “nice” to finally be able to see her teammate's feet.

McIntosh has been on top so far in both the prelims and finals this week with the only drama being between her and the clock. And on this night, I conquered her.

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The partisan crowd roared when the hometown favorite was introduced and the noise grew throughout the race.

“It really keeps me going,” McIntosh said. “If they hadn't been there, I don't think I would have set the 4:25 world record in the first place, let alone tonight.”

McIntosh is a two-time world champion in the 400m. She will appear in her second Olympics this summer in Paris.

She broke out as a 14-year-old at the Olympic Trials in 2021 and just missed out on the podium at the Tokyo Games that summer.

“I hope people can recognize and appreciate what they see and appreciate her as an athlete and as a person as well,” Massey said. “She is incredibly kind and hard-working.

“I'm really happy with her career so far and I know this is just the beginning.”

The 400 IM race includes butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. McIntosh said she had made great strides in the breaststroke, her weakest stroke “so far,” and added that the hard work was paying off.

“I had a lot of confidence in my training because I have been feeling good in the breaststroke lately,” she said. “So it's always good to see those small improvements pay off.”

Ella Jansen of Burlington, Ont., was more than 14 seconds behind in second place with a time of 4:38.88. She was three-tenths of a second off her Olympic qualifying time.

In other results, Toronto's Josh Lindo (47.55) and Calgary's Yuri Kessel (48.19) finished 1-2 in the men's 100 freestyle to secure two spots in that discipline at the Games.

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Massey, from LaSalle, Ont., won the women's 200 backstroke with a time of 2:06.24. Reagan Rathwell (2:09.38) of Ashton, Ont., was also inside the Olympic qualifying time to book her spot in Paris.

Timothy Barbeau of Montreal won the men's 800 freestyle with a time of 8:00.61 but did not qualify.

Two Canadian swimmers improved their national records in the women's 100 freestyle. Tess Rotliff of Caledon, Ontario won the S7 class with a time of 1:12.95, and Shelby Newkirk of Saskatoon finished with a time of 1:13.68 in the S6 class.

Reid Maxwell of St. Albert, Alta., improved his national mark in the men's 100 freestyle in the S8 division with a time of 1:00.23.

The competition continues until Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2024.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on X.

Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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