Summer McIntosh won her second gold medal and made Canadian history on Sunday at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
The 16-year-old from Toronto captured the world title in the women’s 400-metre individual medley final for her fourth-career gold medal at worlds, the most by any Canadian swimmer.
McIntosh finished in four minutes 27.11 seconds, the third-fastest time in history. The Canadian came into the event holding the world record in the event (4:25.87) which she set in Toronto in April at national trials.
“Going into tonight I just wanted to see how hard I could push myself,” McIntosh said.
American Katie Grimes, the silver medallist, finished more than four seconds behind McIntosh in 4:31.41. Australia’s Jenna Forrester took bronze in 4:32.30.
WATCH | McIntosh cruises to 400m IM gold:
McIntosh seized the lead in the opening leg and won going away.
The win also means McIntosh repeated her historic double from last year’s worlds in Budapest. She won the women’s 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley to become the first Canadian swimmer to capture multiple gold medals at the same world championships.
McIntosh successfully defended her world title in the 200m butterfly on Thursday.
WATCH | CBC Sports’ Devin Heroux profiles McIntosh:
Not long after the gruelling 400m IM race, McIntosh anchored Canada’s women’s 4x100m medley relay team to a bronze-medal win.
Kylie Masse, Sophie Angus, Maggie Mac Neil, and McIntosh finished the race in 3:54.12.
“Doing it together as a team, it means the world,” McIntosh told CBC Sports’ Devin Heroux.
The reason I’m still swimming are [my teammates]. They’re the ones that keep pushing me.— Canadian swimmer Sophie Angus, who nearly left competitive swimming in March 2022
Angus swam 1:06.2 in the breaststroke, second fastest since Annamay Pierse’s Canadian record performance of 1:05.74 in July 2009.
“It’s pretty cool. I got to meet Annamay a month or two ago, so she’s inspiring,” said Angus, who has her first world medal after nearly quitting competitive swimming in March 2022. She pointed out the dream of earning a world medal and qualify for the Summer Games kept her motivated.
“The reason I’m still swimming are [my relay teammates],” Angus added. “They’re the ones that keep pushing me. I’m very glad I made that choice to still be here and looking forward to next year.”
WATCH | Canada’s women’s 100m relay team picks up bronze in Fukuoka:
Masse has tied Penny Oleksiak for the most long-course (50-metre) world medals by a Canadian with nine.
“It hasn’t been easy,” she said, “but being able to stand up here on the last night [of competition] with these girls is something I’ll remember forever.”
The Americans took gold in 3:52.08 while Australia took silver in 3:53.37.
Canada’s Javier Acevedo, James Dergousoff, Josh Liendo, and Ruslan Gaziev finished seventh in the final of the 4x100m medley relay with a time of 3:32.61.
The U.S. took gold in 3:27.20, while China (3:29.00) and Australia (3:29.62) took silver and bronze, respectively.
The top three finishers in both relays qualified for the Paris Olympics.
WATCH | Full coverage of Sunday’s events, the final day of competition:
Sjöström sets another record
Sarah Sjöström of Sweden made history with her victory in the women’s 50 freestyle. The gold gave Sjostrom 21 medals in individual races in the world championships, surpassing Michael Phelps who had 20.
Sjostrom, who set the world record in the semifinals on Saturday, powered home in the final 25 metres for the win, clocking 23.62. Shayna Jack of Australia picked up the silver in 24.10, while Zhang Yufei of China earned the bronze in 24.15.
Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania set a new world record on the way to winning gold in the women’s 50 breaststroke in 29.16. Meilutyte grabbed the early lead and was never challenged.
American Lilly King claimed the silver in 29.94, while Benedetta Pilato of Italy picked up the bronze in 30.04.
Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia added the men’s 1,500 free gold to the 800 free he won earlier in the worlds, prevailing in an epic battle with Bobby Finke of the United States that went down to the wire.
The 20-year-old Hafnaoui captured the gold in 14:31.54, with Finke clocking 14:31.59 for silver. Sam Short of Australia rounded out the podium with the bronze in 14:37.28.
Short led from early in the race until the 950-metre mark when Finke moved briefly in front. Shortly thereafter, Hafnaoui went ahead and retained the lead the rest of the way, narrowly touching before Finke at the finish.