Doha 2024, Day 5 North America Recap: Canada’s Finlay Knox Wins First Men’s Gold Since 2007


Finlay Knox made history for Canada on day five here in Doha, winning the men’s 200 IM final in a national record of 1:56.64. Knox’s gold also marks Canada’s first men’s World title since Brent Hayden‘s 100 free title at 2007 Melbourne Worlds. Knox’s time brings him to No. 8 all-time in North American history, as well as tied with Great Britain’s Max Litchfield for 21st in World history.

After trailing third behind American duo Carson Foster and Shaine Casas, Knox ripped 27.79 on the final freestyle 50 to pass both Casas (29.04) and Foster (28.63) for the gold medal. Foster settled for another Worlds silver medal at 1:56.97 while Casas fell off podium status to fifth (1:57.73).

Briefly shifting focus on Foster, this is now his second Worlds 200 IM silver and fourth overall Worlds 200 IM silver across both LCM and SCM pools. This silver in Doha is an improvement for Foster from last year’s fifth place finish in Fukuoka.

Back to Knox, he contributes to now five Canadian men producing 6 World titles in the country’s history. Bruce Robertson won Canada’s first-ever swimming World title in the 100 fly at 1973 Belgrade, along with adding 400 medley relay bronze. Five years later at 1978 West Berlin, Graham Smith won the 200 IM, which he added to his 100 breast silver. The last Canadian man to top a Worlds podium before the 21st century was Victor Davis, who won the 200 breast title at 1982 Guayaquil, followed by a 100 breast title at 1986 Madrid.

Ryan Cochrane currently has the most individual World medals among Canadian men all-time, collecting 8 medals (4 Silver, 4 Bronze) in the distance free events across 2009-2015. More recently before Knox’s 200 IM gold at 2024 Doha, countrymate Josh Liendo picked up double bronze in 2022 Budapest (100 free/fly), following up with a 100 fly upgrade to silver in 2023 Fukuoka for three total medals. This makes Liendo the third-most decorated Canadian man with individual Worlds medals, behind Cochrane (8) and Davis (4).

In total, there have been 28 individual Canadian men’s swimming World medals from 12 medalists.

All-Time Canadian Men’s Individual LCM World Medalists
Swimmer Year- Medal (Event)
Bruce Robertson
1973- Gold (100 Fly)
Graham Smith
1978- Gold (200 IM)/Silver (100 Breast)
Victor Davis 1982- Gold (200 Breast)/Silver (100 Breast), 1986- Gold (100 Breast), Silver (200 Breast)
Alex Baumann
1986- Silver (200 IM)/Bronze (400 IM)
Mark Tewksbury
1991- Silver (100 Back)
Mark Versfield
1998- Silver (100 Back)/Bronze (200 Back)
Curtis Myden
1998- Bronze (400 IM)
Mike Brown
2005- Silver (200 Breast)
Brent Hayden
2007- Gold (100 Free), 2011- Silver (100 Free)
Ryan Cochrane 2009/2013- Bronze (800 Free)/Silver (1500 Free), 2011- Silver x2 (800 Free/1500 Free), 2015- Bronze x2 (400 Free/1500 Free)
Josh Liendo
2022- Bronze x2 (100 Free/100 Fly), 2023- Silver (100 Fly)
Finlay Knox 2024- Gold (200 IM)**

More North America Day 5 Highlights

USA’s Claire Curzan sealed her second individual World title, swimming 27.43 to win the women’s 50 back final, touching two one-hundredths ahead of Australia’s Iona Anderson (27.45). Canada’s Ingrid Wilm rejoined Curzan on the podium as well, touching in at 27.61 for a second individual bronze.

Curzan now moves up to No. 4 all-time in US history, as well as No. 6 all-time in North American history and No. 26 in World history. Curzan now has four medals here in Doha, with both 50/100 back titles to her name as well as aiding the gold-medal mixed 400 medley relay and earning 100 fly silver.

All-Time US Performers – Women’s LCM 50 Back

  1. Regan Smith, 27.10- 2023 Worlds Semifinals
  2. Katharine Berkoff, 27.12- 2022 US Team Trials
  3. Olivia Smoliga, 27.33- 2022 US Team Trials
  4. Claire Curzan, 27.43- 2024 Worlds Final**
  5. Rhyan White, 27.45- 2022 US Team Trials

Fellow American Kate Douglass pulled off the 100 free/200 breast semifinals double, qualifying comfortably into both event finals. Douglass first skated through to the women’s 100 free final, qualifying fifth at 53.31. She then cruised through as the No. 2 seed in the women’s 200 breast final. Douglass qualified at 2:23.17, which is 1.67s off top seed Netherlands’ Tes Schouten and her Dutch record time of 2:21.50. However, Douglass owns an American national record time of 2:19.30, priming her as heavy favorite to win the final.

Seeded third behind Douglass into the women’s 200 breast final as well is Canadian Sydney Pickrem (2:23.77). Pickrem owns a personal best of 2:22.63, positioning her into medal contention alongside Douglass and Schouten. Pickrem already has 200 IM silver to her name, which she earned behind Douglass.

On the men’s side of the 200 breast, American Jake Foster is bouncing back off his 9th-place 100 breast finish and takes top seed for tomorrow’s 200 breast final. Foster leads the event at 2:08.78, just off his personal best of 2:08.23 from July 2023. Countryman Nic Fink will accompany Foster into the 200 breast final as well, qualifying sixth at 2:09.87.

Also returning as a finals top seed is USA’s Jack Aikins. After placing 11th in prelims at 1:58.50, Aikins slashed 2.18s off that time 1:56.32 to lead the men’s 200 back, just 0.06s ahead of 100 back silver medalist Hugo Gonzalez of Spain (1:56.38).

Additional Highlights

  • American Rachel Klinker was in a tight race in the women’s 200 fly final, accelerating on the middle 100, but ultimately faded to fourth at 2:08.19. Fellow USA teammate Matt King also positioned himself for a medal on the back half of the men’s 100 free final, but placed seventh with China’s Wang Haoyu (48.06).
  • In the men’s 200 breast semifinals, Canada’s James Dergousoff placed 16th at 2:12.59. Also matching a 16th-place semifinals finish was fellow Canadian Raben Dommann, hitting 2:00.75 in the men’s 200 back.
  • Rebecca Smith (1:58.70), Emma O’Croinin (1:58.83), Sienna Angove (1:58.59), and Taylor Ruck (1:59.59), combined for 7:55.71 to place sixth in the women’s 800 free relay final. Smith earlier swam 1:58.08 to place 11th in the individual 200 free event.

North American Medals Table Through Day 5

United States 6 3 3 12
Canada 1 1 3 5

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About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick has had the passion for swimming since his first dive in the water in middle school, immediately falling for breaststroke. Nick had expanded to IM events in his late teens, helping foster a short, but memorable NCAA Div III swim experience at Calvin University. While working on his B.A. …

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