Skip to main content


Canada's McIntosh claims bronze in 200m freestyle at World Aquatics Championships

Summer McIntosh Summer McIntosh - The Canadian Press

FUKUOKA, Japan — Summer McIntosh already has five long-course world championship medals in her young career.

And at 16, she is still learning to reach her full potential.

McIntosh earned a bronze medal and set a new world junior record Wednesday in women's 200-metre freestyle at the World Aquatics Championships. The swimming phenom from Toronto completed the distance in one minute and 53.65 seconds.

Her performance was overshadowed by Australian Mollie O'Callaghan, who set a world record of 1:52.85. Fellow Australian Ariarne Titmus touched the wall in 1:53.01 to win silver.

Still, McIntosh was happy with the medal and will take lessons from duelling with the two speedy Aussies.

"Overall, I was really happy with that race, and the 200 free has always been a really fun race to go head-to-head," McIntosh said. "It was super close, so just learning from that and I’ll learn from my splits and things to work on moving forward."

While McIntosh's career is still getting started, Jessica Macauley's is ending on a high note.

Macauley, from Montreal, was third in the 20-metre high diving competition, finishing in between a pair of fellow Canadians. Molly Carlson of Thunder Bay, Ont., was second and Simone Leathead of Montreal was fourth.

The 30-year-old Macauley, who is retiring at the end of the season, and Carlson earned Canada's first world championship medals in the event.

“I had no expectations coming here, and I don’t like to put pressure on myself to obtain a particular ranking," said Macauley, who earned a bronze in the event in 2019 while representing Britain.

"I just wanted to dive well. So to have done well and finished on the podium in my final year is an incredible way to retire."

Australia's Rhiannan Iffland won the gold.

McIntosh opened the competition Sunday with fourth in the 400 freestyle, an event won by Titmus in world-record time.

McIntosh said she made the most of the disappointing result.

"I think there's always things to learn and I think you learn the most when you have off races like that in the 400 free," McIntosh said.

"I learned a lot about how I swam it, where I went wrong and also about my preparation before and where I can improve. It just gives me a lot of motivation and inspires me to push harder and even more heading into next year for Paris.’"

The 2024 Olympic Games start in exactly one year in the French capital.

About an hour after her medal performance, McIntosh qualified third for the women’s 200 butterfly final in 2:06.85. She is the defending world champion in the event.

In the 20-metre dive, Carlson posted a score of 322.80 points to finish behind Iffland, who won her third straight world title with a score of 357.40 points.

"It was a dream come true to stand on the podium with one of my best friends," she added as she stepped down from the podium.

Carlson said she could have done better on her fourth and final dive, which earned her a score of 92.40 points, but thinks the medal bodes well for her future.

“Having a dive with a higher degree of difficulty really helped," the 24-year-old said. "I think that in the future, everyone will take it up a notch.

Later Wednesday, Ilya Kharun of Montreal just missed giving Canada another swimming medal when he tied for fourth in the men’s 200 butterfly final with American Thomas Heilman.

Leon Marchand of France took the gold in 1:52.43, Krzysztof Chmielewski of Poland followed in 1:53.62 and Tomoru Honda of Japan was third at 1:53.66.

"It could have been better, the finish was a bit long," said Kharun, who lowered his Canadian record to 1:53.82.

"I tried to go out smooth in the first 50 and blast the last 50. I certainly dropped a lot of time which is what I wanted but I definitely wanted a podium finish. I’ll have to get it next year (at the Olympics)."

Canada added a sixth place in the 4x100-metre mixed medley relay, finishing in 3:43.72 with Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont., James Dergousoff of Christina Lake, B.C., Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont., and Ruslan Gaziev of Toronto.

Ingrid Wilm of Calgary swam leadoff in the preliminaries.

China took the gold in 3:38.57, Australia was second in 3:39.03 and the U.S. third in 3:40.19. Medallists qualify for Paris 2024, while the remaining 13 spots will be decided from the fastest times between Fukuoka and the Doha 2024 World Aquatics Championships.

Masse and Wilm were fourth and seventh overall in the women’s 50 backstroke semis, clocking 27.49 and 27.71 to advance to Thursday’s final. Masse is the defending world champion.

Finlay Knox of Okotoks, Alta., ranked 13th in the men’s 200 individual medley semifinal in 1:58.23.

In the men’s 100 freestyle semifinal, Josh Liendo of Markham, Ont., ranked 14th in 48.22.

Javier Acevedo of Toronto was 24th in the preliminaries in 48.67.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2023.