Canadian Trials: Summer McIntosh Takes Down 400 Freestyle World Record; Ingrid Wilm Edges Kylie Masse In 100 Backstroke

Summer McIntosh -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

FLASH! Summer McIntosh Takes Down 400 Freestyle World Record With 3:56.06

For the the first time in her career, Summer McIntosh is a world-record holder. On the first night of the Canadian Swimming Trials in Toronto, the 16-year-old lowered the long course global standard in the women’s 400 freestyle. She swam a time of 3:56.06 to knock more than three tenths off the previous mark of 3:56.40 set by Ariarne Titmus last May. Titmus had broken Katie Ledecky’s six-year-old world record of 3:56.46 set at the Rio Olympics.

Previously, McIntosh was the fourth-fastest performer in history in the event behind Titmus, Ledecky and Federica Pellegrini with her 3:59.32 from last year’s Commonwealth Games, where she earned silver behind Titmus. McIntosh also was the silver medalist behind Ledecky at the 2022 World Championships, a race where she broke the 4:00 barrier for the first time. McIntosh had been looming as a significant threat to Titmus and Ledecky’s dominance of the 400 free, and it seemed like only a matter of time until she arrived at world-record territory, but the teenager needed just eight months to wipe three seconds from her best time and become the third swimmer in the 3:56 club.

In a comparison of McIntosh’s splits against the previous top results from Titmus and Ledecky, the Canadian teenager was much quicker over the first half the race, including a front-half split of 1:55.91 that was actually faster than the 200 free bronze-medal-winning time from last year’s World Championships. McIntosh was actually one-and-a-half seconds under world-record pace with 100 meters to go. The superimposed world-record line got closer to Titmus down the stretch, but she had built enough of a margin to hang on.

  • McIntosh (2023): 27.34, 56.46 (29.12), 1:26.11 (29.65), 1:55.91 (29.80), 2:25.56 (29.65), 2:55.84 (30.28), 3:26.10 (30.26), 3:56.08 (29.98)
  • Titmus (2022): 27.58, 57.13 (29.55), 1:26.83 (29.70), 1:56.99 (30.16), 2:27.10 (29.65), 2:57.37 (30.27), 3:27.12 (29.75), 3:56.40 (29.28)
  • Ledecky (2016): 27.73, 57.05 (29.32), 1:26.99 (29.94), 1:57.11 (30.12), 2:27.41 (30.30), 2:57.62 (30.21), 3:27.54 (29.92), 3:56.46 (28.92)

In addition to her success in the 400 free, McIntosh was the world champion last year in the 200 butterfly and 400 IM, and at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Fort Lauderdale just three weeks before her groundbreaking 400 free, she set world junior records in the 200 fly, 200 free and 200 IM. She already had the WJR in the 400 IM after becoming the third woman in history to break 4:29 in December. McIntosh has been setting up to be one of the potential stars of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, and the 400 free will undoubtedly be a centerpiece of her program on the first day of competition.

Results from the Canadian Swimming Trials are available here.

McIntosh was one of seven swimmers to qualify for the 2022 World Aquatics Championships on the first night of the Bell Canadian Trials.

Joining her in the 400 free was Ella Jansen, the 17-year-old going 4:08.81. Mabel Zavaros was third in 4:10.96, within four tenths of the FINA cut.

Canada will likewise send two swimmers in the women’s 100 backstroke and 200 breaststroke. Ingrid Wilm won the 100 back in 58.80, with Kylie Masse second in 59.00. Both are well under the FINA cut. Masse was quickest in prelims at 59.06.

Sydney Pickrem bested the field in the 200 breast in 2:24.63. That was six tenths clear of Kelsey Wog, though both Olympians were under the FINA cut.

Only one male swimmer qualified for Worlds on the opening night. That was Javier Acevedo, who won the 100 back in 53.83. It’s a best time for him – he had been stuck on 53.9 since the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships – and it buzzes within a half-second of Markus Thormeyer’s national record (53.35).

Teenager Brayden Taivassalo won the 200 breast in 2:11.28, nine tenths shy of the FINA cut. He bested veteran James Dergousoff by two tenths. Eric Brown won the men’s 400 free in 3:50.81, nearly three seconds shy of the Worlds cut.

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1 year ago

But it’s 3:56.08 ! Get the time right!

robert kravutske
robert kravutske
1 year ago

you go girl……..trains in the USA…….

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