Since Rio 2016, Canada’s swimming team has been on a roll, led by Canada’s most decorated Olympic athlete at Tokyo 2020, Penny Oleksiak. Stringing together historic performances in 2022, the Canadian swim team won 11 medals at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, its most important harvest in history.
While the well-established stars performed as expected, new names also stood out and will be remembered for years to come.
See all of Team Canada’s best moments from 2022
The emergence of Summer McIntosh
If the Canadian team currently has several swimmers with well-stocked prize lists, this year, a new star has risen: Summer McIntosh.
The youngest athlete on Team Canada at Tokyo 2020 at the age of 14, the teenager stood out by taking fourth place in the 400m freestyle.
Her successes in 2021 were just a prelude to her incredible 2022 season during which she reached the highest peaks and showed the full extent of her versatility by stringing together successes in different events.
In June, McIntosh became the first Canadian swimmer of any gender to win two gold medals at a single FINA World Championships. She was crowned world champion in the 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley, having started the competition winning silver in the 400m freestyle.
“It’s one of my biggest dreams to become world champion, especially in the 200m butterfly. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, it’s one of my favorite events. »
To this harvest was added bronze in the 4 x 200 m freestyle relay. In addition to these medals, the swimmer also took advantage of her first Worlds to break three junior world records, in the two events where she won gold as well as in the 200m freestyle as the first torchbearer.
The 15-year-old swimmer turned heads again a month later at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. She was Canada’s most medal-winning athlete with a total of six, even though she skipped the 200m butterfly. She won gold in the 200m and 400m individual medley, silver in the 400m freestyle, 4 x 200m freestyle relay and 4x 100m medley relay, and bronze in the 4 relay. x 100 m free. She also took the opportunity to improve her junior world records in both medley events.
One thing is certain, the future looks bright for Summer!
Joshua Liendo: a young sprinter on the rise
While McIntosh’s performances are in line with the incredible results obtained in recent years by Canadian swimmers, this year marked the country’s return to the podium in men’s events.
After being a member of the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay that finished fourth at Tokyo 2020, Joshua Liendo has made a name for himself on the international stage this season, stepping on the podium three times in Budapest. He won bronze in the 100m butterfly and 100m freestyle, in addition to adding silver in the mixed 4×100m freestyle relay. The fifth place obtained in the 50m freestyle, 0.04 seconds from a medal, also suggests a bright future for the short distance specialist who turned 20 last August.
Liendo also distinguished himself at the Commonwealth Games winning gold in the 100m butterfly and bronze medals in the 50m freestyle, 4×100m freestyle relay and mixed 4×100m freestyle relay.
The first black Canadian swimmer to win an individual medal in international competition, representation and inclusion are motivating factors for Liendo. ” [Le fait que je sois le premier noir] it shows that there is not a lot of diversity in our sport,” he said. in an interview with Swimming Canadathen adding, “it’s good to be a role model”.
He then entrusted to CBC Sports “I like to see that there are more people like me in swimming, it’s important. »
In the future, the swimmer is aiming for even more international podiums and dreams of inspiring other young visible minority swimmers to take their place in the sport.
Penny Oleksiak: a career-high nine medals at the FINA World Championships
As the Canadian Olympian with the most medals of her career at Tokyo 2020 last year, Penny Oleksiak added another title to her list, that of swimmer or swimmer from Canada who won the most medals in the FINA world of history.
The 22-year-old now has a total of nine World Aquatics medals after winning four medals in relay events in Budapest: silver in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay and the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay , as well as bronze in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay and the women’s 4x100m medley relay. Just like she did in Tokyo, she once again finished fourth in the 100 freestyle, finishing 0.06 seconds from bronze.
The constancy of Kylie Masse
Oleksiak’s nine podiums at FINA Worlds puts her at the top of the standings, but one of her teammates is not far behind in terms of total career medal count. Kylie Masse, a regular on the podium in backstroke events, added three medals to her collection at the 2022 World Championships to bring her total to eight: gold in the 50m backstroke, silver in the 100m backstroke and bronze in the women’s 4 x 100 m medley relay.
Later that summer, the 26-year-old swimmer collected five medals at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham: gold in the 50m backstroke and four silver medals (100m backstroke, 200m backstroke, women’s 4×100 relay m medley, mixed 4 x 100 m medley relay).
One thing is certain: once again, Canadian swimmers will be ones to watch over the next few years!