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Summer McIntosh wins record second gold, fourth medal as Canada completes best-ever performance

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BUDAPEST, Hungary – Fifteen-year-old Summer McIntosh became the first Canadian to win two gold at a FINA World Championships in swimming with a victory Saturday in the women’s 400-m individual medley.

The Canadian swimming team added to its best ever medal performance at the worlds in the pool with two more podium finishes on the last day. The women’s 4X100-m medley relay added a bronze as anchor Penny Oleksiak became Canada’s most decorated Canadian swimmer all-time at worlds with nine medals.

Canada ends the worlds with 11 medals (three gold, four silver and four bronze) for third in total podiums behind USA and Australia. Its previous best was eight medals at the 2019 worlds in Gwangju.

In the 400 IM, McIntosh clocked a world junior record 4:32.04 with Katie Grimes of the U.S. second in 4:32.67. Another American Emma Weyant was third in 4:36.00.

McIntosh, based at Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre-Ontario, blasted out of the gates and was under world record pace early on.

‘’That was part of the adrenaline that comes from the crowd,’’ she said. ‘’Also trying to keep up with the people beside me and stay in the race. I felt it in the breaststroke that I had been out a bit faster.

‘’This is a dream come true,’’ she gushed to the crowd in the post swim on-deck interview.

This past week, McIntosh also won gold in the 200-m butterfly, silver in the 400-m freestyle and helped Canada to bronze in the women’s 4X200-m freestyle relay. Her three individual medals were all world junior marks.

At 15 years and 311 days, McIntosh is the second youngest winner of the women’s 400 IM behind Tracy Caulkins of the U.S. who was 15-224 in her 1978 victory.

At that point, McIntosh was also the first Canadian to win four medals at a single worlds.

However in the women’s 4×100 medley relay final, Oleksiak and Kayla Sanchez added their names to the four-medal club as Canada clocked 3:55.01. Also swimming in the final were Kylie Masse, Rachel Nicol and Maggie Mac Neil.

‘’It’s obvious at this point I wouldn’t be here without the team,’’ said Oleksiak, about her nine career medals overall. ‘’All of my medals at worlds are in relays so it feels weird to claim that title on my own.

‘’I feel really lucky to be part of Team Canada.’’

It was Nicol’s first career worlds medal.

‘’It’s really special for the girls to get a medal in all three relays,’’ said Nicol, from Lethbridge, Alta. ‘’That’s a very hard thing to do and it’s great to be a part of that.’’

Masse, who won gold in the 50-m backstroke and silver in the 100 back this week, is now tied for second overall with Ryan Cochrane with eight career medals.

‘’It’s always special to be part of a relay team,’’ said Masse, based at HPC-Ontario. ‘’It’s nice to be doing it more than just yourself and that always pushes me.’’

In the preliminaries, Mac Neil was joined by Ingrid Wilm, Kelsey Wog and Sanchez. Sanchez reached the podium in three other relays this week with bronze in the women’s 4×200 freestyle and 4×100 freestyle and silver in the mixed 4×100 freestyle.

The U.S. took the gold in 3:53.78 and Australia was second in 3:54.25.

In the men’s 4×100 medley relay, Canada was 11th in the preliminaries with Javier Acevedo, James Dergousoff, Joshua Liendo and Ruslan Gaziev clocking 3:35.62.

Liendo was the big star on the men’s side for Canada this week with bronze in the 100 free and 100 fly and silver in the mixed 4X100 free relay.

Open water swimming gets underway in Budapest on Sunday.

Full results: Competition Schedule | FINA Official