Canadian Women Post 7:43.77 4×200 Freestyle NR, 11th Fastest All-Time


The Canadian women’s 4×200 freestyle contingent swam their way to a new national record during day 5 finals at the Tokyo 2020 Games, hitting a 7:43.77 for 4th overall. The swim was a 0.58-second improvement upon the 7:44.35 mark that the nation produced at the 2019 World Championships.

Split Comparison

Canada – Tokyo 2020 Canada – Gwangju 2019
1 Summer McIntosh (1:55.74) Kayla Sanchez (1:57.32)
Rebecca Smith (1:57.30)
Taylor Ruck (1:56.41)
Kayla Sanchez (1:55.59)
Emily Overholt  (1:56.26)
4 Penny Oleksiak (1:55.14) Penny Oleksiak (1:54.36)
7:43.77 7:44.35

14-year-old Summer McIntosh opened things up with a 1:55.74 Age Group Record swim to give the Canadians 3rd place position behind the Australians and Chinese while staying ahead of the Americans. Following Rebecca Smith‘s 1:57.30 split on the second leg, American Paige Madden managed to pull ahead of Canada, putting the US into a third place position.

By the end of the race, Katie McLaughlin and Katie Ledecky of the USA had managed to assert themselves enough to edge out Australia and touch for 2nd place with a 7:40.73 to China’s 7:40.33. The Australians had fallen to 3rd place but anchor Leah Neale was too far ahead of Canada’s Penny Oleksiak to give Canada a shot at bronze. Oleksiak successfully out-split Neale’s 1:55.85 with her 1:55.14 but Canada wound up 4th in a 7:43.77 while Australia posted a 7:41.29 to round out the podium.

In what was an incredibly fast heat, all 3 of the podium finishers managed to undercut the former world record which stood at a 7:41.50 courtesy of the Australian back in 2019. That meant that China took the world record, while the USA lowered the American record and the Australians hit a new Australian, Oceanian, and Commonwealth mark.

Canada’s time, while not under the previous world record, was still a solid swim for the women and marks the 11th fastest time in the history of the event.

Country Event Time
1 China 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games 7:40.33
2 USA 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games 7:40.73
3 Australia 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games 7:41.29
4 Australia 2019 World Championships 7:41.50
5 USA 2019 World Championships 7:41.87
6 China 2009 World Championships 7:42.08
7 USA 2009 World Championships 7:42.56
8 USA 2012 Olympic Games 7:42.92
9 USA 2016 Olympic Games 7:43.03
10 USA 2017 World Championships 7:43.39
11 Canada 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games 7:43.77
12 Australia 2018 Pan Pacific Championships 7:44.12

Canada was left off the podium despite a national record-breaking swim meaning that they had fallen short of their bronze medal performances at both the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2019 World Swimming Championships. Notably, Canada followed up their 2016 Olympic bronze by falling to 8th place at the 2017 World Championships. All 4 of their most recent Olympic or World Championships performances, however, mark improvements upon Canada’s finish at the 2015 World Championships where they took 11th overall in a 7:57.31.

This also marks the 3rd-straight Olympic Games where Canada finish in the top 4 in the women’s 4×200 freestyle as they pulled off a 4th place swim at London 2012 of 7:50.65

Canadian Olympic / World Championships Performances – Women’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay

Tokyo 2020 Gwangju 2019 Budapest 2017 Rio 2016 Kazan 2015 Barcelona 2013 London 2012
Splits McIntosh (1:55.74) Sanchez (1:57.32) Harvey (1:58.57) Savard (1:57.91) Savard (1:59.63) Cheverton (1:59.23) Jardin (1:57.96)
Smith (1:57.30) Ruck (1:56.41) Smith (1:58.70) Ruck (1:56.18) Ackman (1:59.43) Jardin (1:58.19) Cheverton (1:56.91)
Sanchez (1:55.59) Overholt (1:56.26) Savard (1:58.23) MacLean (1:56.36) Overholt (1:58.62) MacLean (1:58.03) Reason (1:59.32)
Oleksiak (1:55.14) Oleksiak (1:54.36) Padington (2:00.07) Oleksiak (1:54.94) Goss (1:59.63) King (2:00.03) MacLean (1:56.46)
Time 7:43.77 7:44.35 7:55.57 7:45.39 7:57.31 7:55.48 7:50.65
Rank 4th 3rd 8th 3rd 11th 6th 4th

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Michael McMurray
1 year ago

Oldest member of the Canadian relay was 21. Definitely looks good for the future.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael McMurray
Reply to  Michael McMurray
1 year ago

Great point.

Reply to  Michael McMurray
1 year ago

that really puts things in perspective!

Reply to  Michael McMurray
1 year ago

For those on the CAN team hopefully swimming by the time Paris 2024 comes around:

  • Kylie 28
  • Sydney 27
  • Kelsey, Bailey 25-26 I think
  • Penny, Taylor, Rebecca, Maggie, Mary-Sophie – 24
  • Kayla 23
  • Emma C from 2019 worlds – 20ish
  • 1500 girl (sorry forget her name) – 19
  • Summer 17!!!


  • Finlay, Gabe, Cole, Joshua – 21-22
  • Brent – 40… 🙂
Sean C.
1 year ago

The absence of Ruck was really felt here. Oh well, onward to Paris.

Reply to  Sean C.
1 year ago

Yes… But the others really did step up. Kayla lifetime 2 free split best of 155. Of course Rebecca would have loved more than anyone to repeat her 155.9 prelim swim. Hopefully if Rucks general health returns( for her personally of course more than swimming), that perhaps she will approach her 2018/19 form. Canada’s 5th best 200 freestyler is now capable of a 155 split and they have a handful more 157 range… Future is bright!

1 year ago

Summer!!! That race was so exciting for all teams from start to finish.. can’t wait for tonight!

1 year ago

Incredible swim by Summer McIntosh. 1:55.74 leadoff leg as a 14 year old. Wow.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Bill
1 year ago

She’s going to be big no doubt.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

I remember same words said about outstanding performance of two Canadian teenagers at junior WC. Nobody knows what awaits us ahead. A sport career can be rocky.
I liked the coach of Regan Smith because he never spoke publicly about plans and expectations regarding his young pupil. He wanted to shield her from such stress and pressure. That ended up with two remarkable world records. Then Regan was left alone against public opinion and I’m not sure she can handle it like Lilly King for instance.
Be careful with Summer McIntosh treatment. She is a child. Fast swimming but still a child.

Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

Agreed, I hope people can let Summer Macintosh develop into her own athlete, instead of putting huge comparisons and expectations on her shoulders

Reply to  Matterson
1 year ago

Guaranteed “people” will compare and voice expectations, so don’t bother hoping for anything less as no control to stop. Macintosh has already been compared to others. It is ultimately the athlete’s decision whether they chose to acknowledge this noise or chose to ignore and develop their own goals.

Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

Agree, but like so many of your posts you always feel the need to point out the obvious that every young athlete excelling ahead of curve has to manage expectations. If you say that every time don’t worry you will eventually get credit for “I called it!” that you seem to be seeking.

Titley has been very quiet in press about Macintosh, other than she trains as well as anyone he has coached and razor focused when needed. She had over a handful of swims, pb in every event, 400 finalist and lead off relay at her first international competition. Let’s hope whomever is the support team surrounding Summer remains intact as it seems to be working.