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McIntosh breaks world junior, national record at Canadian swimming trials

Summer McIntosh swims her way to winning the women's 200-metre LC Individual Medley at the Canadian swimming trials in Toronto on Thursday, March 30, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

TORONTO — Summer McIntosh almost broke another world record — and in the process set a new world junior and national record at the Canadian swimming trials.

The 16-year-old Toronto native broke the records with a time of two minutes 6.89 seconds to win the women's 200-metre individual medley race on Thursday. The time was the fourth-fastest ever in the event, with Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu holding the world record at 2:06.12 from 2015.

McIntosh set her previous world junior and national records at the Pro Swim Series earlier this month with a time of 2:08.08. She had already broken the 400 freestyle world record on Tuesday.

“No, not at all,” said McIntosh, when asked if she thought about going after the world mark Thursday. “I've never really focused on records." 

"It's nice to know that I’m getting closer to it. But as long as I just kind of keep chipping away and keep improving, technically and time wise, that’s what's really important to me. I think the 200 IM is a race that I still have a lot to learn because I don't have too much race experience at the world stage."

Sydney Pickrem also met the qualifying standard, stopping the clock at 2:08.61 for a personal best and second-place finish.

The trials, featuring 623 athletes from 148 clubs across the country, are a selection event for the world championship that runs from July 14-30 in Japan, the world para swim championship from July 31 to Aug. 6 in Manchester, England, as well as the world junior championship in Netanya, Israel, and Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, later this year.

Josh Liendo swam the world's fastest time this season in the men's 50 freestyle event, stopping the clock at 21.80 seconds. The Markham, Ont., native had done the same on Wednesday in the 100 butterfly event.

“I’m just trying to go fast. I mean, that's pretty much what it boils down to,” said Liendo, who set the Canadian record of 21.61 at the 2022 worlds, where he finished fifth. “I'm just racing and obviously getting prepared for the summer. I’m feeling good and feeling fast.” 

Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont., also met the World Aquatics standard in the women's 50 freestyle, winning the final in 24.79, shaving off almost half a second from her previous best of 25.21. 

“The goal was definitely to go under 25 tonight and I'm really happy with that,” the 23-year-old said. “The 50 free is still a fun event for me. I'm really happy to see that time.”

Meanwhile, Finlay Knox of Okotoks, Alta., broke his national record in the men's 200 IM with a winning time of 1:57.26. 

“Obviously, trials, we'd like to swim fast but the point is to make the team. Once we're on the team then it’s focused on the summer,” said the Tokyo Olympian. “I was maybe a little nervous going in, just making sure we put a swim down that will put us on the team and then go from there.

“I’ve been focusing a lot on other events and how to help my IM. I just feel like I wasn't quite connected today but every time we dive in we learn something and hopefully we can build off this.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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