Commonwealth Games: What Can’t Summer McIntosh Do? Canadian Teen Storms to 200 IM Gold in World Junior Record

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Summer McIntosh -- Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Commonwealth Games: What Can’t Summer McIntosh Do? Canadian Teen Storms to 200 IM Gold in World Junior Record

Every time Summer McIntosh enters the pool, she finds some new manner of impressing the swimming world. At her debut World Championships in Budapest, McIntosh minted gold in the 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley while staying close to Katie Ledecky in the 400 freestyle. Now, with Commonwealth Games gold in the 400 IM already bagged (by a massive margin of more than 7.5 seconds), McIntosh turned her focus to the shorter medley and produced another win.

The 15-year-old Canadian was slightly under world-record pace through 50 meters, and on the backstroke leg, she actually extended her lead over one of the world’s premier backstrokers, Australia’s Kaylee McKeown. However, breaststroke is clearly McIntosh’s weak stroke, and McKeown and England’s Abbie Wood each roared back with matching 37.52 splits while McIntosh split 39.11, the sixth-best in the field. McKeown led by a tenth with 50 meters to go, but McIntosh reasserted herself on the closing split to take gold.

McIntosh finished at 2:08.70, less than a tenth off the Canadian record of 2:08.61 set by Sydney Pickrem in 2018. The time made her the third-fastest performer in the world this year behind the United States’ Alex Walsh and McKeown, and she crushed the world junior record of 2:09.57 set by China’s Yu Yiting at last summer’s Olympics.

‘’I didn’t know what to expect because the 200 IM is more of a sprinting event for me,’’ McIntosh said, according to Swimming Canada. ‘’I was happy with how I raced and my time. The only pressure I feel is what I put on myself. The only thing that matters is my expectations.’’

McKeown, meanwhile, finished with a silver medal in 2:09.52, well off her season-best mark of 2:08.57 set on her way to a silver medal at Worlds, but the the 21-year-old Aussie was racing just 50 minutes after winning gold in the 200 backstroke. The bronze medal went to Wood in 2:10.68.

With this result, McIntosh now ranks in the top-four in the world for 2022 in five individual events. She is also first in the 200 fly and 400 IM, third in the 400 free and fourth in the 200 free. The only other swimmer with that many swims ranked so highly is Ledecky, who is No. 1 in the world in the 800 and 1500 free, second in the 400 free, third in the 200 free and fourth in the 400 IM. McKeown has four such swims, first in the 200 back plus second in the 100 back and both medley events.

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