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Ledecky breaks world record, McIntosh sets junior standard on second night of Toronto World Cup

TORONTO – American superstar Katie Ledecky stole the show Saturday on the second night of the 2022 FINA Swimming World Cup in Toronto, annihilating the world short-course record by almost 10 seconds on her way to a resounding triumph in the women’s 1,500-metre freestyle.

FULL RESULTS:–live-results

Ledecky’s performance in the second final of the evening, which marked the first-ever FINA world standard set in the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre pool, came roughly half an hour after hometown favourite Summer McIntosh got the crowd off its feet with her second junior world  record swim in as many days, this time in the women’s 400 individual medley.

The 25-year-old Ledecky, who has owned the 1,500 free world long-course record of 15:20.48 since 2018, led from wire to wire on her way to a time of 15:08.24, more than 40 seconds faster than second-place finisher Beatriz Dizotti of Brazil (15:48.82). Laila Oravsky, a 15-year-old rising star from Barrie, Ont., was third in a personal best 16:16.86.

Sarah Wellbrock of Germany held the previous world short-course mark of 15:18.01 since 2019.

“That was my first time swimming this event in a short course pool and I didn’t know what to expect,” said Ledecky, the reigning Olympic and world long-course champion in the distance. “The record was a fantastic performance by Sarah and I was happy to have swam this fast.

“I didn’t have it as a set goal (to break the world record). I really didn’t know what to expect, this being my first meet of the season. I knew that record was in reach just based on some things I’ve done in training. Especially my distance stuff has felt really good this fall.”

In the 400 IM, McIntosh also led from start to finish to prevail in 4:21.49. She lowered the previous junior world record of 4:23.33 set by China’s Ye Shiwen back in 2012.

On Friday, the 16-year-old phenom had gotten the evening going with a junior world mark – and a first-place finish – in the 400 free.

Fellow Tokyo Olympians Sydney Pickrem and Bailey Andison of Smiths Falls, Ont., finished the 400 IM in 4:28.45 and 4:29.36, respectively, to make it an all-Canadian podium.

“It was amazing to have the support of the many Canadians in the stands, and I want to say thanks for their support,” said McIntosh, who claimed gold in the event at the world long-course championships in Budapest in June. “I didn’t know what time to expect, I just wanted to swim a good race.

“I’m really happy with my race. I have to check my splits, I don’t know where that puts me, but throughout the race I felt in control and strong so I’m really happy.”

Shaine Casas of the United States also made history on Day 2 thanks to a winning time of 1:50.37 in the men’s 200 IM, a World Cup record. Finlay Knox, a Tokyo Olympian from Okotoks, Alta., placed second in 1:52.75.

It was the third victory of the weekend for Casas, who won the 100 IM and 200 back on Friday. The 22-year-old Californian had also triumphed in the 100 and 200 back last week at the first leg of the 2022 FINA Swimming World Cup series in Berlin.

“I really just wanted to swim fast.  The records really don’t matter as much to me,” said Casas, who lowered the previous World Cup mark of 1:50.66 set a year ago to the day in Kazan, Russia, by Japan’s Daiya Seto.

Meanwhile, no less than six athletes won their event for the second straight week on Saturday, including American Beata Nelson in the women’s 100 backstroke (55.75), Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong, China, in the women’s 200 free (1:51.13), Dylan Carterfrom Trinidad and Tobago in the men’s 50 back (22.94), Nic Fink of the USA in the men’s 50 breaststroke (25.78), Australia’s Kyle Chalmers in the men’s 100 free (45.52) and Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte in the women’s 100 breast (1:02.95).

In the women’s 100 back, Nelson beat Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont., and Ingrim Wilm of Calgary to the wall, the exact same finish as a week ago in Berlin.

Haughey, the reigning Olympic champion in the 200 free who set the world short-course record (1:50.31) last December in Abu Dhabi, had swept the 100, 200 and 400 free last week in Germany.

“I’m definitely not as fresh as I was in Berlin so the fact that I was able to drop my time in my 200, that’s a positive sign,” said Haughey, who placed third in the 400 free on Friday. “I’m definitely learning a lot and I think it’s also helpful to watch my race videos from Berlin and see what I can work on.”

Carter, who won the 50 free on Friday, had finished first in the 50 free, back and fly in Berlin.

“It was a great race against great competitors in front of a great crowd,” said the two-time Olympian. “I still have the 50 fly tomorrow.”

Fink, the reigning world short-course champion in the 50 breast, is now one win away from sweeping the three breaststroke events for the second week in a row.

“I’m taking one race at a time,” said the Tokyo Olympian. “I will see what I have left for tomorrow in the 200.”

Chalmers and Meilutyte were both favourites going into Saturday’s finals as world short-course record holders in their respective events.

Rounding out the winners’ circle on Day 2 were Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont., in the women’s 50 fly (24.75), and American Julian Trenton in the men’s 200 fly (1:49.69).

It was the second win in two days for Mac Neil, who took the 50 back crown on opening night.

“I really am excited to be racing at home,” said the reigning Olympic champion in the 100 fly. “I really appreciate the support of so many people from Toronto who come to see us race. It’s so special.”

The Toronto leg of the 2022 FINA Swimming World Cup comes to an end Sunday at the TPASC with preliminaries starting at 9:30 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

Tickets for the event can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

All sessions will be streamed live on CBC Sports digital platforms, with commentary for the heats from former national team swimmers Callum Ng and Sarah Mailhot. Tokyo 2020 Olympic commentator Rob Snoek will join Olympic medallist Brittany MacLean to call the finals. Live streams can be watched via the free CBC Gem streaming service, at and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices.

The 2022 World Cup series will conclude with a third three-day leg in Indianapolis from Nov. 3-5.