Teenage swimmer Summer McIntosh smashed the 400m freestyle world record, shaving more than three-tenths of a second off the previous mark at the Canadian National Trials at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Center.
The 16-year-old completed the race in three minutes, 56.08 seconds on Tuesday evening, breaking defending Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus’ previous record of 3:56.40, which was set last May.
“I’m not a crier,” the swimmer – who had already set numerous Canadian and junior records before her first world record – said after the race.
“It’s absolutely incredible. I’m not an emotional person, but I was hit with so much emotion. Pure euphoria right now. I’m just so grateful for everyone who got me to this point,” she told CBC Sports.
“Over the past few years, I’ve put my life into this. To be the best I can be. To achieve something like this, it was very unexpected. It was never in my dreams to do this tonight or even a few years ago. This just blows my mind.”
The Canadian teen made her Olympic debut aged 14 at Tokyo 2020, where she finished fourth in the 200-meter freestyle.
She bagged gold in the 200m butterfly and 400m medley at the world championships in 2022, as well as two golds at the Commonwealth Games in the 200m and 400m medleys. She now trains in Florida under coach Brent Arckey with the Sarasota Sharks team.
McIntosh’s record marks the first long-course – defined as being swum in a 50m pool length – world record set by a Canadian since Kylie Masse’s 100m backstroke at the 2017 world championships, according to Swimming Canada.