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McIntosh closes worlds with gold, medley relay takes bronze

News –

FUKUOKA, Japan – Summer McIntosh of Etobicoke, Ont., rewrote the Canadian record books again on Sunday at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships, winning gold in the 400 IM and anchoring the women’s medley relay to bronze.

McIntosh’s championship record time of 4:27.11 gave her two gold medals at these championships and four all time, most ever among Canadians.

“Overall I’m really happy with tonight and my whole meet,” said the world record holder, who laid down her second-fastest-time ever. “Coming back after (finishing fourth in the) 400 freestyle (earlier in the meet) I knew it was going to be mentally tough, but I try to turn everything that goes wrong into motivation somehow. I’ve learned so much strategically with my races and where I can improve and continue to grow.”

McIntosh didn’t have long to celebrate her win as she joined the women’s 4×100 medley relay team of Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont., Sophie Angus of Toronto, and Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont. to capture a bronze medal with a time of 3:54.12. Team USA took gold in 3:52.08, followed by Australia at 3:53.37. The medallists all earn spots at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

McIntosh and Masse replaced Ingrid Wilm of Calgary and Mary-Sophie Harvey of Trois-Rivieres, Que., who helped Canada advance to the final as top seed. Both will also receive bronze medals.

“I had to get my head back in the game and know that it’s my last one for the year and I just wanted to leave it in the pool,” said Mac Neil, who also leaves with a silver medal from the women’s 100 butterfly earlier in the week. “After this morning, we realized that we had a legit shot, and I’m really impressed with the performances that we were all able to put together. I mean, for Kylie, for me, for Sophie, and Summer, those are our best splits, or swims, of the entire year, so to be able to pull that out is just incredible.”

Masse led off in 58.74, faster than her fourth-place individual finish in the 100. Angus followed in 1:06.21, Canada’s second-fastest breaststroke split ever (Annamay Pierse, 1:06.10, 2009), Mac Neil in 55.69 and McIntosh in 53.48.

“This is the reason why I do it,” said Angus following the relay. “I love being part of these relays – they’re the ones that motivate me to keep going. It’s my favourite part of swimming, so just to be up there with them is the best feeling in the world. I’m really happy with the 1:06 and excited to see where I can push it going into next year.”

McIntosh wasn’t the only swimmer to rewrite the record books at this event – with the bronze, Masse ties Penny Oleksiak for the most world championship long-course medals with nine. She has won a medal at every major championships and Games she has competed at since 2015 – 13 straight.

“It’s been a challenge for me and always coming in on the last day with the relay is tough, but I wanted to do it for the girls and obviously clinching a spot for Paris 2024 was the goal for this meet. To be able to achieve that is a really great motivator and I think we’re all looking forward to next year,” Masse said.

Mac Neil and McIntosh are tied for third with eight career medals.

The men’s 4×100 medley relay team of Javier Acevedo of Toronto, James Dergousoff of Christina Lake, B.C., and Torontonians Josh Liendo and Ruslan Gaziev finished in 7th with a time of 3:32.61. The USA won gold with a time of 3:27.20, China silver with a time of 3:29.00, and Australia bronze with a time of 3:29.62.

The team’s time of 3:32.11 in the heats was the fastest time for a Canadian men’s team in this race since the Canadian record 2009.

“We’re going to build off this,” said Acevedo. “Before today, we weren’t really talking about this relay. So the fact that we made the final, and now we’re racing the biggest, best guys in the world, it’s really good steps for the future.”

Rookies represent during heats

Ella Jansen, who trains with with Angus and Acevedo at the High Performance Centre – Ontario, finished 17th in the 400 IM heats with a time of 4:43.35.

Swimming Canada’s Breakout Swimmer of the Year for 2022 was competing at her first world championships.

“I definitely had some challenges with my races. I set my expectations really high trying to get into these finals and knowing that I had to drop a lot in the morning to make the final. So that was definitely tough to overcome that frustration,” said Jansen.

Jansen and fellow senior team rookie Lorne Wigginton will represent Canada at the World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships Sept. 4-9 in Netanya, Israel.

“This experience has been really good and I think will benefit me going into junior worlds so I can re-evaluate and do well there,” Jansen said, adding how much she appreciated the welcome from the officials and volunteers in Fukuoka.

“Everybody volunteering here is actually the kindest people I’ve ever met. They’re so sweet here and it’s really inspiring for me because I come in and they’re smiling so it makes me smile,” Jansen said.

Canada finishes these 2023 World Aquatics Championships with six medals – two gold, two silver, and two bronze, as well as two new world junior records, a championship record, seven Canadian record swims including an Americas record, a Canadian age group record and 12 other personal bests for a total of 20.

“Coming away with six medals at the world championships, all in Olympic events, with four fourths in Olympic events and five overall, and four fifth places, that’s 14 Top 5 positions going into an Olympic year, which puts us in a really strong position,” said High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson, the Team Leader at the championships.

“We came here to do a job in relays. Seven out of eight relays made the final, and six Olympic relays made the final. One earned a medal to qualify for the Olympic Games, and the others put us in good position heading into the Doha 2024 World Aquatics Championships. With our men’s 4×200 freestyle relay also posting a strong time, it was job done with what we came here to do.”

“The character of our athletes came through,” added Atkinson. “Every time you’re at a world championships there are highs and there are bumps. Our athletes showed great resilience in order to bounce back after some of the bumps and show what they can do on the world stage.”

Full team list:

Results: Competition Results | AQUA Official


GOLD (2)

Summer McIntosh: Women’s 200m butterfly

Summer McIntosh: Women’s 400m Individual Medley


Josh Liendo: Men’s 100m butterfly

Maggie Mac Neil: Women’s 100m butterfly


Summer McIntosh: Women’s 200m freestyle

Kylie Masse, Maggie Mac Neil, Sophie Angus, Summer McIntosh (Ingrid Wilm, Mary-Sophie Harvey): Women’s 4x100m medley relay


Summer McIntosh: Women’s 200m freestyle (1:53.62)

Summer McIntosh: Women’s 200m butterfly (2:04.06)


Summer McIntosh: Women’s 400m individual medley (4:27.11)


Summer McIntosh: Women’s 200m butterfly (2:04.06)


Summer McIntosh: Women’s 200m freestyle (1:53.62)

Summer McIntosh: Women’s 200m butterfly (2:04.06)

Ilya Kharun: Men’s 200m butterfly x2 (1:54.28, 1:53.82)

Ilya Kharun: Men’s 50m butterfly – Tied x2 (23.27)

Josh Liendo: Men’s 100m butterfly (50.34)


Lorne Wigginton (15-17): Men’s 400m individual medley (4:13.75)

OTHER PERSONAL BESTS (12 for a total of 20)

Mary-Sophie Harvey: Women’s 200m individual medley (2:09.65)

Sophie Angus: Women’s 100m breaststroke (1:07.34)

Hugh McNeill: Men’s 200m backstroke (1:57.73)

Emma Finlin: Women’s 800m freestyle (8:36.47)

James Dergousoff: Men’s 50m breaststroke (27.53)

Maggie Mac Neil: Women’s 100m freestyle (relay leadoff) (53.77)

Ruslan Gaziev: Men’s 100m freestyle (relay leadoff) (48.38)

Ilya Kharun: Men’s 100m butterfly x2 (51.33, 51.22)

Emma Finlin: Women’s 400m freestyle (within 800) (4:15.49)

Emma Finlin: Women’s 800m freestyle (8:36.47)

Emma Finlin: Women’s 1500m freestyle (16:15.77)