2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- June 18-25, 2022 (pool swimming)
- Budapest, Hungary
- Duna Arena
- LCM (50-meter format)
- Full Aquatics Schedule
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- Live Results
Day 5 is in the books. The United States and Canada owned the pool in Budapest on Wednesday, bringing home a combined total of 8 medals–3 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze. 15-year-old Summer McIntosh of Canada also broke 2 World Junior Records, earning her first individual world title in the process in the 200 butterfly. Let’s get into it.
The Women’s 200 Freestyle in Hindsight
China’s Junxuan Yang won the gold medal in the women’s 200 freestyle in 1:54.92, 0.30 ahead of Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan. Only one North American woman was present in this final, that being Canada’s Taylor Ruck who tied for 6th in 1:57.24, nearly a full 3 seconds off her best time.
Despite winning the 200 freestyle at U.S. Trials in April, Katie Ledecky chose not to swim the race in Budapest, choosing instead to focus on the 400, 800, and 1500 freestyles, as well as the 4 x 200 freestyle relay. Canadian Penny Oleksiak, meanwhile, the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist in the race, was disqualified in the semi-finals. Canadian Trials champion Summer McIntosh, meanwhile, also chose not to swim the race, giving the to Ruck.
Though Ledecky failed to make the podium in the 200 free in Tokyo after winning gold in Rio, she’s still a force to be reckoned with in the race. The semifinals of the 200 freestyle fall on the same night as the finals of the 1500, and the 1500 comes first, so her decision to withdraw is understandable, but based on her swims in Budapest, her ability to take on the double and at least win a silver or bronze medal seem high.
As for McIntosh, the finals of the 200 free fall on the same day as the semi-finals of the 200 fly, with the finals of the 200 fly coming on the same day as the finals of the 4 x 200 freestyle relay. Even so, McIntosh is a middle-distance specialist with inclinations for the 200 fly, 200 free, and 400 IM reminiscent of Phelps, Lochte, and Hosszu.
So, did Ledecky and McIntosh make wise decisions when withdrawing from the 200 freestyle?
Based on what we’ve seen from them, both of them could have probably gotten on the podium. McIntosh, for instance, set a World Junior Record in the 200 freestyle leading off Canada’s 4 x 200 free relay, posting a 1:54.79, 0.13 faster than Junxuan Yang‘s winning time. Ledecky, meanwhile, split a 1:53.67 with a flying start on Team USA’s victorious 4 x 200 free relay. Furthermore, Ledecky split a 1:57.11 on the first 200 of her 400 freestyle, which itself would have been 6th in the individual 200 free, and just 0.86 off the bronze medal time in the 200–keep in mind, Ledecky’s split was to her feet while Muhan Tang‘s time came to a hand-touch.
3 Gold, 3 Silver, and 2 Bronze Medals Won on Day 5
Canada would pick up another gold medal in the women’s 200 fly where Summer McIntosh posted a 2:05.20, also setting a new World Junior Record. Team USA’s Hali Flickinger managed a silver medal, nearly a full second behind McIntosh.
Team USA also picked up gold in the women’s 4 x 200 freestyle relay, posting a Championship Record time of 7:41.5. While this is still over a second off of the World Record set by China at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics it was over 2 seconds clear of runners-up Australia. The team from Canada, meanwhile, snagged 3rd, beating the Chinese women by nearly a second to get on the podium. Katie Ledecky, Bella Sims, and Summer McIntosh in particular posted incredible splits, with McIntosh earning her 2nd World Junior Record of the evening with a 1:54.79 lead-off leg.
Team USA’s Carson Foster won his second silver medal of the meet in the men’s 200 IM, finishing about half a second behind champion Leon Marchand, who also won the 400 IM and took silver in the 200 fly.
Semi-Final and Non-Podium Swims
North America will be represented by four North Americans in the women’s 100 freestyle. Torri Huske (USA, 3rd), Penny Oleksiak (Canada, 4th), Kayla Sanchez (Canada, 6th), and Claire Curzan (USA, 7th) will all compete in the championship final Thursday.
North America will be represented in the women’s 200 breaststroke by Americans Lilly King and Kate Douglass, and Canada’s Kelsey Wog, who are going into the final seeded 2nd, 4th, and 5th, respectively. The men’s 200 breaststroke, meanwhile, will be represented by Team USA’s Nic Fink, who qualified for the final as the 7th seed, while Charlie Swanson laced 11th, failing to advance.
Team USA’s Regan Smith finished just off the podium in the 200 butterfly, placing 4th, and the 50 backstroke, tying for 5th with Australia’s Kaylee McKeown. Canadian Ingrid Wilm also placed 4th in the 50 backstroke, just 0.01 off the podium. 2017 World Champion and 2019 bronze medalist Chase Kalisz placed 4th in the men’s 200 IM after snagging bronze in the 400 IM earlier in the meet. American Brooks Curry placed 5th in the men’s 100 freestyle in 48.00, slower than his semi-finals time.
North American National Records — Day 5
- 15-year-old Summer McIntosh kicked off the evening with a 2:05.20 in the women’s 200 fly, breaking her own World Junior Record and Canadian National Record of 2:05.79, set Tuesday in the semi-finals.
- McIntosh bookended the session with another World Junior Record in the women’s 200 freestyle, posting a 1:54.79 to lead-off Canada’s 4 x 200 freestyle relay. This is not a Canadian National Record, however, as that mark stands at 1:54.44, set by Taylor Ruck at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships.
North American Medal Table — Day 5