Summer McIntosh Becomes Fourth Woman Under 4:00 In The 400 Free


While most eyes at the Duna Arena were on 400 free World Champion Katie Ledecky, 15-year-old Summer McIntosh swum an incredible race to take the silver medal. She put up a time of 3:59.39, becoming the fourth woman to ever go under the 4-minute barrier, and the fourth-fastest performer of all time behind Ariarne Titmus, Ledecky, and Federica Pellegrini.

McIntosh is also the youngest to go under the four-minute barrier for the first time, being 15 years and 304 days old. When Ledecky broke four minutes for the first time, she was 16 years and and 133 days old.

Top 5 Performers Of All-Time, Women’s 400 Free:

  1. Ariarne Titmus, Australia – 3:56.40 (2022)
  2. Katie Ledecky, United States – 3:56.46 (2016)
  3. Federica Pelligrini, Italy – 3:59.15 (2009)
  4. Summer McIntosh, Canada – 3:59.35 (2022)
  5. Joanne Jackson, Great Britain – 4:00.60 (2009)

The swim was also a Canadian record for McIntosh, beating out her old record of 4:01.59 from trials earlier this year. The time is also a significant improvement from the 4:02.42 she swam to finish fourth at the Olympics.

McIntosh finished just over a second slower than Ledecky, who won in a championship record time of 3:58.15. However, at 15 years old, she is significantly faster than Ledecky and Titmus when they were her age, signifying that she could be a serious threat to both of them in the future.

Ledecky vs. McIntosh, Comparative Splits:

Katie Ledecky Summer McIntosh
27.62 27.93
29.46 29.86
29.96 30.07
30.07 30.18
30.17 30.25
30.54 30.45
30.42 30.67
29.91 29.99
3:58.15 (Championship Record) 3:59.39

Ledecky led McIntosh the entire race, but McIntosh was never too far behind. In fact, McIntosh actually outsplit the American on the sixth 50.

McIntosh will have another opportunity to beat her best time at the Commonwealth Games, where she will be racing newly-minted World Record holder Titmus.

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7 months ago

How did none of the SwimSwam folks have Summer as their North America pick in the fantasy draft? I understand picking Dressel and Ledecky, but I have a hard time imagining Liendo and Finke picking up more points than McIntosh.

7 months ago

Titmus vs. McIntosh at Comm Games will be a good one.

McIntosh getting faster by the day.

7 months ago

She’s coming for Ledecky. I think she gets her in Paris.

Reply to  MTK
7 months ago

Might get her next year but will take longer to catch Titmus.

Sherry Smit
7 months ago

I see McIntosh taking home gold in the 400 IM. Her last 200 in the 4FR showed she’s got enough endurance to handle it.

Canadian swim nerd
Reply to  Sherry Smit
7 months ago

What’s more important, let’s hope her breaststroke will come together – keeping my fingers crossed!!!

7 months ago

99.9% of swim fans:
Not surprised at all. Summer is a beast!

99.9% of Swimswam editors/contributors:
How did this unproven wildcard end up on the podium?!?!

Reply to  mills
7 months ago
7 months ago

With Zhang and Ohashi not looking particularly impressive today, McIntosh now looks to be better positioned in both the 400IM and the 200 Fly. And Canada’s 4X200 relay looks even better with Ruck having a good swim in the 4X100 relay today.

Last edited 7 months ago by KRB
7 months ago

200 fly and 400IM>>

Last edited 7 months ago by Toby
7 months ago

Anyone know what Ledecky and Titmus were when they were 15?
Is this swim a WJR, if not what is it?

Reply to  Islandtime
7 months ago

At the same age of 15, Katie Ledecky’s best was a 4:04.34, and Ariarne Titmus’ best was a 4:13.53. Hope that helps to put into perspective just how good this performance was. Also as Yanyan indicated, this was not a WJR; that belongs to Ledecky’s 3:58.37.

Last edited 7 months ago by SwimFan99
Reply to  SwimFan99
7 months ago

At the age of 15 Ledecky swam first half of 800 race by 4:04. She didn’t swim individual 400 in London.
But Summer McIntosh is the youngest swimmer in history who broke 4min barrier. She did it at the age 15 years 10 months. Ledecky did it being 5months older.

Reply to  SwimFan99
7 months ago

Titmus’ best was 4:09.81 at 15.

4:27.69 689 13.5 2014-04-18 2014 GHSF Australian Age & MC Championships All
4:13.53 811 14.5 2015-04-16 Swimming Australia 2015 Age and MC Age Championships
4:09.81 848 15.9 2016-08-24 2016 Jr Pan Pacific Swimming Championships
4:04.26 907 16.8 2017-07-23 2017 FINA World Championships
3:59.66 960 17.9 2018-08-09 2018 Pan Pacs
3:58.76 971 18.8 2019-07-20 FINA World Championships
3:56.69 997 20.8 2021-07-24 2020 Tokyo Olympics
3:56.40 1000 21.6 2022-05-22 2022 Australian Swimming Championships

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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