McIntosh Hits 1:56.11 200 Free Canadian NAG, Oleksiak A 1:55.38 Lifetime Best


The Canadian women continued their successful run at the Tokyo Games as Penny Oleksiak and Summer McIntosh delivered a 2nd and 5th place finish in the 200 freestyle prelims. Oleksiak posted a 1:55.38 for 2nd to Katie Ledecky (1:55.28) while McIntosh got 5th in a 1:56.11.

While both Oleksiak and McIntosh were a bit over the current 1:54.44 Canadian record held by Taylor Ruck, both women recorded a new PB.

McIntosh’s time marks a new 13-14 Canadian age group record, getting down from the 1:56.19 that she swam 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials. That time at Trials for McIntosh made the 14-year-old the Canadian champion, having edged out teammate Oleksiak’s 1:57.24 for 2nd place.

Oleksiak’s best time heading into Tokyo 2020 was a 1:56.41 which she swam during the semi-finals at the 2019 World Championships. Oleksiak went on to claim 6th overall at 2019 Worlds with a 1:56.59, a swim which wound up getting Oleksiak pre-selected for Canada’s Tokyo 2020 squad.

McIntosh and Oleksiak will be in the mix for a podium finish as they move forward in the women’s 200 freestyle but will have no room for error considering the lethal field of women joining them. Among those in the top 8 heading into semi-finals are the Australian duo of Madi Wilson and Ariarne Titmus, China’s Yang Junxuan, Czech swimmer Barbora Seemanova, and Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong.

Tokyo 2020 Women’s 200 Freestyle Prelims – Top 16

  1. Katie Ledecky (USA) – 1:55.28
  2. Penny Oleksiak (CAN) – 1:55.38
  3. Madison Wilson (AUS) – 1:55.87
  4. Ariarne Titmus (AUS) – 1:55.88
  5. Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 1:56.11
  6. Yang Junxuan (CHN) – 1:56.17
  7. Barbora Seemanova (CZE) – 1:56.38
  8. Siobhan Haughey (HKG) – 1:56.48
  9. Isabel Gose (GER) – 1:56.80
  10. Charlotte Bonnet (FRA) – 1:56.88
  11. Freya Anderson (GBR) – 1:56.96
  12. Allison Schmitt (USA) – 1:57.10
  13. Annika Bruhn (GER) – 1:57.15
  14. Erika Fairweather (NZL) – 1:57.26
  15. Federica Pellegrini (ITA) – 1:57.33
  16. Valeriia Salamatina (ROC) – 1:58.33

Canada has already amassed 2 medals at Tokyo 2020 in the form of 4×100 silver from Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez, Maggie MacNeil, Taylor Ruck, and Rebecca Smith and 100 butterfly gold from Maggie MacNeil. While she hasn’t yet reached the podium, McIntosh came close during day 2 finals when she posted a 4:02.42 Canadian record in the 400 freestyle for 4th place overall.

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There's no doubt that he's tightening up
2 months ago

The Canadians are feeding off Brent Hayden’s old man energy, there is no other explanation


maybe Brent is feeding off the women’s energy lol. Canadians have a lot of strong women who have been training together for years.

2 months ago

Add in Taylor Ruck (if she can go 1:55+ or better) and Maggie MacNeil (probably has at least a 1:56+ in her) and Canada could be a medal contender.

Reply to  WahooSwimFan
2 months ago

Neither Ruck or MacNeil will be on the relay. MacNeil never swims the 200 and a 54 free split 59 back level Ruck should not be on it. It will likely be two of Sanchez, Smith, and Savard as all have been 1:57 and have shown decent form so far.

Bo Swims
Reply to  Bob1235
2 months ago

Ruck probably will pull prelim duty again…

Bill G
Reply to  Bo Swims
2 months ago

Sure – you can always hope Taylor Ruck circa 2018 form walks onto the pool deck.

Maybe it won’t be an issue (not sure of the depth of this 4×200 field), but I am perpetually worried about prelim shenanigans costing the team a spot in the finals.

Adding Ruck (and resting Oleksiak / McIntosh) would mean one of Smith / Sanchez / Savard would have to sit out of prelims as well (given Canada has to use Harvey). Ruck would be high risk (swam a 2:01 at trials) – you’d almost be obliged to use one of Oleksiak/McIntosh in prelims in this scenario.

Just speculating, obviously.

Bill G
Reply to  WahooSwimFan
2 months ago

It’ll be interesting to see if Taylor Ruck swims the 4×200 here. Canada has to use Mary-Sophie Harvey in prelims (relay-only swimmer).

Ruck didn’t final in the 200m free at Canadian Trials. She hasn’t been in earth-shattering / spectacular form in Tokyo. Canada could use Smith-Savard-Harvey-Sanchez (finishers 3-6 at Trials, in 1:58.7 to 1:59.2) as a prelim quartet (resting Oleksiak-McIntosh). May be hard to justify bumping one those swimmers in favour of Ruck, based on Tokyo form / Trials results.

Not sure what Mac Neil swims for the 200m free, but it’s an interesting option.

Reply to  Bill G
2 months ago

I’ve read somewhere that Maggie has asthma and doesn’t race anything over 100 now due to that.

Bill G
Reply to  Bill G
2 months ago

Oops …. positions 3-6 at Trials were 1:57.8 to to 1:58.8 (I had the prelims times above)

Reply to  WahooSwimFan
2 months ago

Based on the 1st 2 days all of Smith, Sanchez, and Savard look really good and should give the Canadian staff confidence that the 3 of them, with unknown Harvey, can confidently get into finals. Then of course pick the top 2 to join Penny and Summer. I’m going to guess its Kayla and Rebecca based on form, Rebecca was great on the 4×1 and is arguably better at the 200. If Ruck was anywhere closer to 2018/19 form then likely she would also rest for finals and the fastest prelim would go. At least 2 of the 4 should go 157, hopefully push 156, meaning the risk of placing Ruck in there would not help this week.
Lets… Read more »

Texas Tap Water
2 months ago

Summer Mackintosh is a massive talent. Hope Canada will nurture her to great heights.

2 months ago

USA will not medal in women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay with Greg Meehan as head coach.

Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

Is Coach Meehan swimming? I think that the USA medaling will be up to the women swimming on the relay, not the coach… JMHO.

2 months ago

Penny looks great! Better chance to medal in 100 free though.