Canadian Summer McIntosh, 16, gets second gold medal at swimming worlds in Japan

Updated Jul. 30, 2023 11:14 a.m. ET

FUKUOKA, Japan (AP) — Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh should be a star at next year’s Paris Olympics, and she showed why Sunday on the closing day of the swimming world championships in Japan.

The 16-year-old McIntosh won her second gold of the event, taking the 400-meter individual medley after winning the 200 butterfly gold on Friday.

That made up for a slow start for the young Canadian, who finished fourth in the 400 free, where she held the world record until Australia's Ariarne Titmus took it back. She also took bronze in the 200 free, at least getting a medal.

“Going into tonight I just wanted to see how hard I could push myself,” McIntosh said.


She did just that. Her time of 4 minutes, 27.11 seconds was the third fastest ever, not far off her world record of 4:25.87. She was also the defending world champion. American Katie Grimes took the silver in 4:31.41, with Jenna Forrester of Australia picking up the bronze in 4:32.30.

“It was definitely motivating,” McIntosh said of her first few days. “I try to turn everything that goes wrong into motivation somehow.”

Asked about Paris, she replied: “Right now I'm just thinking about a little break.”

McIntosh should be joined by other young stars in Paris like 21-year-old Frenchman Leon Marchand and Australia's 22-year-old Kaylee McKeown. Marchand and McKeown each won three individual golds.

The Americans also closed fast.

After winning only four gold medals during the first seven days, they picked up three on the eighth and final day for a total of seven golds and 38 overall. The gold total is still their lowest in a worlds going back for around 20 years. They won only eight in the 2015 worlds.

Australia finished with 13 gold and 20 overall, and China had five gold and 16 overall.

“This is the cherry on top,” said American Regan Smith, part of the winning 4x100 women’s medley relay. “I love racing with these girls and I love relays so much and brining home a gold in the last event for Team USA means so much to me and all of us.”

The Americans finished in 3:52.08, followed by Australia (3:53.37) and Canada (3:54.12).

The United States also won the men’s 4x100 medley in 3:27.20, ahead of China (3:29.00) and Australia (3:29.62), and added another gold with Hunter Armstrong in the 50-meter backstroke (24.05).

Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden made history with her victory in the women’s 50-meter 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 meters 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 world record on the way to winning gold in the women’s 50-meter breaststroke in 29.16. She equaled the old world mark of 29.30 the night before in the semifinals.

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. She shared the old record of 29.30 with Meilutyte.

Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia added the men’s 1,500-meter free gold to the 800 free he won earlier in the worlds, prevailing in an epic battle with American Bobby Finke that went down to the wire.

The 20-year-old Hafnaoui, the defending 400 free Olympic champion, 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.

The mark was just off the world record by Sun Yang of China, 14:31.02, set in 2012. Sun has been suspended for a doping violation.

“Bobby (Finke) is so fast at the end of the race. he pushed us to do the 14.31," Hafnaoui said. "It was so close to the world record. I mean I enjoyed the race and thanks Bobby for pushing me.”


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