Katie Ledecky Wins McIntosh Rematch, Sets US Open Championships Record in 400 Free

2022 U.S. OPEN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

American swimmer Katie Ledecky won her 400 free rematch on Thursday against Canadian teen Summer McIntosh. In the process, Ledecky swam 3:59.71, to break her own U.S. Open Record in the event. She set the old record of 4:00.51 at last year’s championship.

Ledecky’s margin of victory in this race, .08 seconds ahead of McIntosh, was the same margin between the two at the recent FINA World Cup Series meet in Toronto. In that race, which was swum in a short course pool, McIntosh was the winner, setting a World Junior Record and becoming the #2 performer in history.

Simulated Race, based on splits

Actual Race Video:

A comparison of the relative caps from the two races:

How to read this chart: the red line is the cumulative gap between the two swimmers at the US Open, and the blue line is the cumulative gap between the two swimmers at the World Cup. When the line is below 0 (a negative number), Ledecky is leading. When the line is above 0 (a positive number), McIntosh is leading.

The chart shows that in both races, Ledecky took an early lead before McIntosh fought back.

Ledecky is the most accomplished swimmer of her generation, and among the most accomplished of any generation, and so there is nothing really left for her to prove. But later in her career, she is facing young challengers that are giving her something she hasn’t had for most of her career: close rivals in her primary events.

This creates a different dynamic in the pool, and in the headlines, than what we’re used to in Ledecky’s career. Most of what has been written about Ledecky throughout her career has been about things like another entry on the all-time top swims list in the 800 free, an unreasonable margin of victory in the 1500 free, or clearing the Olympic Trials standards in the 200 free, 400 free, and 800 free in the same race, as she did in her first swim of the meet on Wednesday.

Ledecky’s post-race comments:

“I’m really happy with that race. I knew it would be fast tonight with Summer (McIntosh) right there. We brought the best out of each other tonight. I think that’s the first time I’ve been under four minutes in December, or in the fall, so I’m pleased with that at this point.”  

Ledecky is now staring down a huge battle with not just one, but two rivals for the Paris 2024 Olympics in this 400 free. McIntosh will be 17 when the Paris Games kick off, and Australian Ariarne Titmus will be 23. Ledecky will be 27 by the time Paris begins.

Titmus won the Olympic gold medal and took Ledecky’s World Record in the event last summer, and now the Canadian teen McIntosh, who trains about 3 hours from Ledecky in Sarasota, Florida, makes the juiciest rivalry in women’s swimming a triad. Ledecky has left a huge legacy for the sport, and generating this sort of excitement is the icing on top, whether she wins or not.

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2Fat4Speed
2 months ago

“Ledecky is now staring down a huge battle with not just one, but two rivals for the Paris 2024 Olympics in this 400 free. McIntosh will be 17 when the Paris Games kick off, and Australian Ariarne Titmus will be 23. Ledecky will be 27 by the time Paris begins.”

Y’all are sleeping on the SCM world record holder?! It is a four person race at least!

Lisa
Reply to  2Fat4Speed
2 months ago

I think this and men’s 100 free is like a four person race

David
2 months ago

To the naked eye it looked like summer out touched her at the wall, but the race is in the US and of course omega.

BigBoiJohnson
Reply to  David
2 months ago

It really did. Even if you rewatch the video at .25x speed it’s like… there’s just no way. But hey, it was a close one regardless, and there are much more important races yet to come!

Lisa
Reply to  BigBoiJohnson
2 months ago

I’m pretty sure they know who touched the wall first and Ledecky last 50 split is much faster than Summer

Last edited 2 months ago by Lisa
Jay
Reply to  BigBoiJohnson
2 months ago

When you slow it down at .25x speed you can’t see how much Summer was slowing down into the wall

Lisa
Reply to  David
2 months ago

Are you trying to say they tried to help us swimmer because the race is in us cause that just ridiculous and from the screen it looks close and that’s why the gap is .08 and Summer looks in front but Ledecky is the one who touched the wall first.

David
Reply to  Lisa
2 months ago

The classic excuse Americans give the touch pad. Omega is American financed any ledecky is amazing and a legend. Summer is too classy to say anything. I just want competition to be fair the pressure to win in America and Australia is intense. I just hope ledecky and Titmus are clean when they race summer in Paris.

Lisa
Reply to  David
2 months ago

Of course yesterday race is fair and Ledecky is much faster on the last 50 than Summer and this thing about omega is just an excuse for you to accept the result and right now it’s just ridiculous to questioned whether to race at Paris is clean or not cause it will be clean just like any other Olympics.

Jay
Reply to  David
2 months ago
  1. Omega is a Swiss company
  2. Ben Johnson
David
Reply to  Jay
2 months ago

Ben Johnson was ages ago and Canada cleaned up its act other nations not so much.

Jay
Reply to  David
2 months ago

Last edited 2 months ago by Jay
nuotofan
2 months ago

“Ledecky is now staring down a huge battle with not just one, but two rivals for the Paris 2024 Olympics in this 400 free”; 100% agree with this assertion, but for the Fukuoka 2023 Worlds. About Paris 2024 Olympics there will be another full year that could see further changes in the three athletes’ performances. About McIntosh, her PB in the 400 free was 4.02.4 (Tokyo Olympics) at the end of 2021 and 3.59.3 (swum both at Worlds 2022 and CG) at the end of 2022. Now, she has already swum 3.59.7 in December so whe could predict a 3.56-3.57 for the main event (Worlds) of the 2023 Summer. But what Summer will see in the 2024 Summer?

joanietheswimmer
2 months ago

I still want to know Omega timing is allowed to call itself “live” results when there is nothing “live” about it?

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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