ABU DHABI – Canadians Summer McIntosh and Joshua Liendo savoured their first individual major international success on Sunday winning silver and bronze as Canada equalled its best ever showing at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) with two days still to go.
After four of six days of competition Canada, stands with three gold (a team record) four silver and a bronze for eight medals. That ties its tallies from 1999 and 2016.
In the women’s 400-m freestyle, the 15-year-old McIntosh just missed her Canadian record set last month clocking 3:57.87 for the silver. Binjie Li of China won the gold in 3:55.83 and Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong was third in 3:58.12.
“I’m so grateful for the medal,” said McIntosh, based at the High Performance Centre – Ontario. “Even though I’m not happy with the time I’m still happy that I tried my best and raced my best. I knew there was a medal possibility if I did that.”
Her HPC-Ontario teammate Liendo, 19, broke his Canadian record again for the bronze in the 50-m freestyle in 20.76. He initially lowered the mark in the prelims at 21.01, then swam a 20.88 in the semifinal. Benjamin Proud of Britain took the gold in 20.45 and Ryan Held of the U.S. was third in 20.70.
“I knew from the swims before it would be a good race,” said Liendo, who also won gold in the mixed 4×50-m freestyle relay on Friday. “I mean it’s just crazy, I’m just here to learn. There were some nerves but I was super focused and I knew what I had to do.”
Finlay Knox of Okotoks, Alta., reclaimed the Canadian record in a fifth-place finish in the men’s 100-m individual medley. He clocked 51.70 seconds eclipsing the previous mark of 51.76 set earlier this month by Javier Acevedo.
“It was good. Regardless, if it was an international final or Canadian final you have to prep the same,” the HPC-Ontario swimmer said of his first major international final. “You have to be in the same mental state to go out and swim fast.”
Kliment Kolesnikov of the Russian Swimming Federation won the gold medal in 51.09 with Tomoe Hvas of Norway second in 51.35 and Thomas Ceccon of Italy third in 51.40.
In the women’s 100-m IM, Bailey Andison of Smiths Falls, Ont., was eighth in 59.37. Anastasia Gorbenko of Israel was the winner in 57.80, Beryl Gastaldello of France second in 57.96 and Marila Kameneva of the RSF was third in 58.15.
“My transitions just weren’t as good as they were yesterday,” said Andison, who had advanced with a best time of 58.74 in her semifinal. “I think this is the most chaotic race in swimming and you can’t afford one little mistake. Honestly, I’m more excited for the 200 (Monday) and I think I’ve now got my feet under me a little more than I did earlier in the meet.”
In the women’s 50-m backstroke semis, Kylie Masse of HPC-Ontario and Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont., ranked second and third. Masse tied Mac Neil’s Canadian record clocking second in 25.84 and Mac Neil’s time was 25.92.
“I wasn’t expecting a best time,” said Masse, who has 100-m and 200-m silver under her belt already. Her career total of nine medals at FINA long-course and short-course world championships is tied with Penny Oleksiak and Ryan Cochrane for most all-time among Canadians.
“It was great that Maggie and I were in the middle lanes. We are competitors but also teammates and good friends. I think we can only help each other get faster and faster.”
Louise Hansson of Sweden was the fastest qualifier in 25.83.
In the morning heats, Liendo broke his Canadian record in the 50-m butterfly clocking 22.52 to rank fourth. However, he withdrew from the semis to focus on the 50 free final.
Nine women and three men, all of whom represented Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, are at the six-day event. Finals are at 9 a.m. ET each day on CBC digital platforms (CBCSports.ca, CBC Sports App and CBC GEM).
Competition continues through to Tuesday.