Skip to main content


Canada's Masse misses podium in women's 100m backstroke

Kylie Masse Kylie Masse - The Canadian Press

FUKUOKA, Japan — A strong rebound performance from Summer McIntosh has the Canadian teenager closing in on her first medal at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships.

The 16-year-old from Toronto won her semifinal in the women's 200-metre freestyle Tuesday and qualified second overall for Wednesday's final.

McIntosh finished in one minute 54.67 seconds and seems to have put the disappointment of missing the podium in Sunday's 400-metre freestyle behind her.

"I'm happy," McIntosh said. "The semifinals are probably the most stressful part of any swimmer's meet because 50 per cent of people don't make it back.

"You always have to stay on your toes to make sure that you're pushing just enough but not overdoing it so you're not too tired for the final."

Australia's Ariarne Titmus, who won the 400 freestyle, qualified first after winning her semifinal in 1:54.64. Fellow Australian Mollie O'Callaghan was third in 1:54.91.

McIntosh won four medals, including two gold, at last wear's world championships in Budapest but did not compete in the 200 freestyle.

Also Tuesday, Montreal's Ilya Kharun qualified for the men's 200m butterfly final with a Canadian-record time of 1:54.28.

"It was really a bit painful in the final 50 but it felt really good,’’ said Kharun, 18, who is competing at his first worlds. "I liked that race. I’m just happy that I dropped my best time."

In Tuesday's finals, Kylie Masse just missed earning her fourth straight world championship medal in the women's 100-metre backstroke.

The four-time Olympic medallist from LaSalle, Ont., and two-time world champion finished fourth in 59.09 seconds, one spot ahead of fellow Canadian Ingrid Wilm of Calgary (59.31).

"Obviously a little bit disappointed," said Masse, who won gold at the 2017 and 2019 worlds and silver in 2022.

"I feel like I'm capable of going much faster than a 59 but for whatever reason it didn't come together. I have to move forward. I have a lot of races left this week, so continuing to keep things in perspective and learning and growing as I go through the meet."

Australia's Kaylee McKeown won gold in 57.53 seconds, ahead of Americans Regan Smith (57.78) in second and Katharine Berkoff (58.25) in third.

In the morning preliminaries, James Dergousoff of Christina Lake, B.C., clocked a personal best 27.53 seconds in the men’s 50 breaststroke to rank 21st. He just missed the 27.45 Canadian record held by Scott Dickens since 2009.

"I can’t complain with a best time and near the Canadian record," he said. "It would have been nice to get in that top-16. I’m definitely a lot less stressed than I was previously and a best time is a representation of that."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 25, 2023.