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Canada’s Summer McIntosh breaks world record in 400 freestyle

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(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Those that thought the Paris 2024 Olympics would feature a second showdown between Ariarne Titmus and Katie Ledecky in the 400-meter freestyle may be wrong. 

The rivalry in that event has new blood, with 16-year-old Summer McIntosh breaking Titmus’ world record in the event Tuesday. Her time of 3 minutes, 56.08 seconds bested Titmus’ 3:56.40, which the Australian set last May. 

With the swim, the Canadian teenager became the youngest swimmer to break a world record in an Olympic event since Ledecky did so a decade ago. 

McIntosh, whose previous best time was a 3:59.32 from last summer’s Commonwealth Games, was surprised at the world record. While she long has been approaching the ranks of Titmus and Ledecky, the record is her first senior world record. She holds many world junior and Canadian national records. 

“It’s absolutely incredible. I’m not an emotional person, but I was hit with so much emotion. Pure euphoria right now. I’m just so grateful for everyone who got me to this point,” she told CBC Sports.

“Over the past few years, I’ve put my life into this. To be the best I can be. To achieve something like this, it was very unexpected. It was never in my dreams to do this tonight or even a few years ago. This just blows my mind.”