2021 FINA SHORT COURSE WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Thursday, December 16th – Tuesday, December 21st
- Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- SCM (25m)
- Prize Money
- Meet Site
- Psych Sheet
- SwimSwam Preview Index
- FINA Live Results
- Omega Live Results
The Canadian women took a run at the world record in the final of the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay on Monday night in Abu Dhabi, narrowly missing the mark while winning gold in dominant fashion.
The quartet of Summer McIntosh (1:54.30), Kayla Sanchez (1:52.97), Katerine Savard (1:54.01) and Rebecca Smith (1:51.68) combined for a final time of 7:32.96, falling just over a tenth shy of the 7:32.85 world record set by the Netherlands at the 2014 SC World Championships in Doha.
MAKE IT THREE 🇨🇦🥇
AND so close to another World Record 😬 pic.twitter.com/SKy0vKrsTQ
— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) December 20, 2021
Despite falling shy of the record, the team does lower the previous Canadian Record by almost a full second, downing the mark of 7:33.89 set by the foursome of Savard, Taylor Ruck, Kennedy Goss and Penny Oleksiak at the 2016 SC Worlds in Windsor.
That time from five years ago already had the Canadians ranked #2 all-time in the event behind the Dutch.
Split Comparison – World Record
Though in slightly different orders, the Dutch and Canadian teams had very similar splitting throughout their lineup. A 1:54 lead-off, and three legs of 1:51, 1:52-high and 1:54-low.
From that perspective, the difference-maker for the Dutch was Femke Heemskerk, who was a blazing 1:51.22 swimming second compared to Canada’s 1:51 splitter, Smith, who was just over four-tenths off.
Heemsker’s split from that 2014 race is the fastest of all-time, according to USA Swimming’s database (though it’s slower than the flat-start world record of 1:50.31 set by Siobhan Haughey earlier in these championships), and Smith’s leg overtakes Ruck for #2 on the list.
|Netherlands, 2014 SC Worlds||Canada, 2021 SC Worlds|
|Inge Dekker – 1:54.73||Summer McIntosh – 1:54.30|
|Femke Heemskerk – 1:51.22 (3:45.95)||Kayla Sanchez – 1:52.97 (3:47.27)|
|Ranomi Kromowidjojo – 1:54.17 (5:40.12)||Katerine Savard – 1:54.01 (5:41.28)|
|Sharon van Rouwendaal – 1:52.73 (7:32.85)||Rebecca Smith – 1:51.68 (7:32.96)|
Split Comparison – Canadian Record
Compared to the previous Canadian Record, the teams were virtually even at the halfway mark before Savard slightly outsplit what Goss did in 2016, and then Smith was more than three-tenths better than Oleksiak was.
|Canada, 2016 SC Worlds||Canada, 2021 SC Worlds|
|Katerine Savard – 1:55.53||Summer McIntosh – 1:54.30|
|Taylor Ruck – 1:51.69 (3:47.22)||Kayla Sanchez – 1:52.97 (3:47.27)|
|Kennedy Goss – 1:54.62 (5:41.84)||Katerine Savard – 1:54.01 (5:41.28)|
|Penny Oleksiak – 1:52.05 (7:33.89)||Rebecca Smith – 1:51.68 (7:32.96)|
Compared to their flat-start best times, McIntosh was .65 slower than she went in the individual 200 free final (1:53.65), where she finished fifth, while Smith, with a relay exchange, was over half a second faster than her silver medal-winning effort from the individual race, where she established a new Canadian Record in 1:52.24.
Sanchez’s flying split of 1:52.97 was just off her flat-start best of 1:52.59 from 2018, though well under her fastest swim since the beginning of 2020, a 1:54.06 last month in the ISL playoffs, while Savard’s split was just under her PB of 1:54.21 set in 2016.
The Canadian team as a whole has had a phenomenal performance in Abu Dhabi, and that was on full display on Monday as Sydney Pickrem won gold in the women’s 200 IM and Maggie MacNeil did one better by placing first and smashing the world record in the women’s 50 back.
Then came the relay win, which marked the country’s sixth gold medal of the championships and second in a relay. On the first night of competition, the Canadian women tied with the Americans for gold in a national record time of 3:28.52 in the 4×100 free relay.
The U.S. won silver here in the 4×200 free, finishing more than three and a half seconds back in 7:36.53, while the Chinese team, that led early, took third in 7:39.92.