Summer McIntosh Opts For 400 IM Over 200 Free At Commonwealth Games

2022 Commonwealth Games

  • Friday, July 29 – Wednesday, August 3, 2022
  • Birmingham, England
  • Sandwell Aquatic Center
  • Start Times
    • Prelims: 10:30 am local / 5:30 am ET
    • Finals: 7:00 pm local / 2:00 pm ET
  • LCM (50m)
  • Meet Central
  • Event Schedule
  • Entry List

Coming off a breakout performance at the 2022 World Championships, Canadian teen Summer McIntosh is set for an encore performance at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The 15-year-old won four medals at last month’s Worlds in Budapest, including a pair of individual golds in the women’s 200 butterfly and 400 IM, and is now in line to pile up a massive tally at the Commonwealth Games.

McIntosh has entered four individual events for the six-day competition, most notably opting to race the 400 IM on Day 1 instead of the 200 free, the same decision she made at the World Championships.

The Etobicoke Swimming product is the World Junior Record holder in both events, and despite not swimming the 200 free individually in Budapest, she actually swam a time faster than what won gold leading off the Canadian 800 free relay (1:54.79).

McIntosh has also entered the two other events in which she won a medal in at the 2022 World Championships, the 200 fly and 400 free, and will also test the waters in the 200 IM for the first time at a major international competition.

The Toronto, Ontario native has not entered the 800 free, an event in which she placed 11th at the Tokyo Olympic Games last summer. While she has strayed away from swimming the 800 of late, having not raced it at all in 2022, it would have also conflicted with the 200 IM prelims on the morning of Day 4 and the 200 fly final during the evening session on Day 5.

McIntosh’s schedule manages to completely avoid doubling, as she’s only slated to race once per session throughout the meet with two prelim sessions off early on.

The relay events have swimmers listed in the entries, and McIntosh is only down for the women’s 4×100 and 4×200 free, which both don’t have a preliminary portion (per the schedule) and allow her to completely avoid doubling.

With prominent names such as Penny OleksiakKayla Sanchez and Taylor Ruck all not competing, McIntosh will be leaned on even more so than usual in the 4×200 free, and is expected to race the 4×100 free for the first time.

MCINTOSH’S POTENTIAL COMMONWEALTH GAMES SCHEDULE

Session Event(s)
Day 1 Prelims Women’s 400 IM heats
Day 1 Finals Women’s 400 IM final
Day 2 Prelims off
Day 2 Finals Women’s 4×100 free relay final
Day 3 Prelims off
Day 3 Finals Women’s 4×200 free relay final
Day 4 Prelims Women’s 200 IM heats
Day 4 Finals Women’s 200 IM final
Day 5 Prelims Women’s 200 fly heats
Day 5 Finals Women’s 200 fly final
Day 6 Prelims Women’s 400 free heats
Day 6 Finals Women’s 400 free final

As the reigning world champion, McIntosh is the clear favorite for gold in both the 200 fly and 400 IM, though she’ll face a stiff challenge from Aussie Kaylee McKeown in the medley event.

In the 400 free, McIntosh went toe-to-toe with American Katie Ledecky in Budapest, and will now do the same in Birmingham with Australian Ariarne Titmus.

Titmus, the newly-minted world record holder who opted not to compete at Worlds, is the massive favorite in the event (along with the 200 free, which probably made McIntosh’s decision with the 400 IM an easy one), but McIntosh is a good bet for silver (though it does come at the end of a busy program).

The 200 IM is a bit of an exploratory event for McIntosh, though she comes in as a medal threat after setting a National Age Group Record on the Mare Nostrum Tour earlier this year. McKeown will be the favorite there, while England’s Abbie Wood and Canadian Mary-Sophie Harvey will be the other top medal threats.

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Mike McCormack
2 months ago

It won’t surprise me if Summer makes a decent run at Katinka’s 4 IM WR, what with the event being first, instead of last, as it was at the WC. If you want to know a 4 IMer’s fatigue factor, check the breast to breast turn; it cannot lie. Summer, though she hasn’t said it loudly publicly, was utterly spent late in the 4 in Budapest. It reveals near-incredible grit that she managed to hang on against Katie Grimes, another blossoming superlative 4 IMer. She also realizes (in a new YouTube interview) that the first half was much too fast in Budapest; I think we are going to see something. Of course, though, one cannot know exactly how he or… Read more »

Sherry Smit
2 months ago

Her speed in the early part of her races should translate nicely to a 100 Free relay split. I see a potential 53 high to 54 low in store

swimfast
2 months ago

I’m happy about this. It seems none of the true 400 IMers as of late have sacked up and tackled the event and opted for another one. She realizes she actually has wonderful potential in this and is going for it.

SMO
2 months ago

Great to see a young woman with a great attitude; after winning the 400IM when asked what was next she said “just train hard every day.” Simple but impactful. Wishing her all the best!

CanSwimFan
Reply to  SMO
2 months ago

Just wondering why on earth someone would downvote such a positive comment. Seems hard to disagree with or criticize what was said.

Virtus
Reply to  CanSwimFan
2 months ago

Bro chill

Jamesabc
2 months ago

The 200 free / 400IM decision seemed pretty easy. Titmus in the 200 is much harder to overcome than McKeown in the 400IM.

I think we’re going to see another great meet for Summer.

NB1
2 months ago

breakout performance” – I would call this year for her the “Janet Evans punch”

Khachaturian
2 months ago

Going for the true world junior records?

REL
2 months ago

I called it, I believe right after she won the 200 IM at Mare Nostrum, that we might see Summer in the 200 IM at the Commonweath Games.

I can see it possibly having been frustrating for Summer watching the 200 Fly and 400IM in the stands in Tokyo, thinking she could have at least been in the finals in both events if she had trained for them, when she placed 11th in the 800 free and also just missed the finals in the 200 free. She also seems to like the variety as compared to just swimming free events (I note her comment after winning the 200 Fly in Budapest that it is one of her favorite events, and… Read more »

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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