Swim star Summer McIntosh races to gold at Commonwealth Games

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BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom — Canadian swimming star Summer McIntosh has added to her burgeoning medal case.

On the heels of her success at the world aquatic championships last month, the 15-year-old from Toronto captured Canada's first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, winning the 400-metre individual medley in stunning fashion on Friday.

McIntosh, who became the first Canadian to win two gold medals at a single championship in Budapest, broke both the Games and her own national record, touching the wall in four minutes, 29.01 seconds.

Australian Kiah Melverton finished 7.77 seconds behind McIntosh for the silver medal.

McIntosh is the third fastest performer in the event's history and is closing the gap on the world record of 4:26.36 set by Hungarian Katinka Hosszu at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

"I was excited to re-do my time from (the) worlds and see what I can do to get better,'' McIntosh said. "I've been working on a lot of stuff in training so I can execute my 400 IM better than I did at (the) worlds, because I had so much room for improvement, and I still do.''

‘’Overall, I’m happy with how I swam the race and how I felt with it."

Katie Shanahan of Scotland was third in 4:39.37.

Ella Jansen of Burlington, Ont., was fifth and Tessa Cieplucha of Oakville, Ont., was eighth.

McIntosh won four medals at the worlds.

In the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay event, the Canadian quartet of Joshua Liendo, Javier Acevedo, Maggie Mac Neil, and Rebecca Smith earned bronze with a time of 3:24.86.

‘’It was a tough race,’’ Liendo said. ‘’But we fought hard and it was really exciting to be a part of. It was everybody’s second swim of the night and I thought we did great.’’

According to Smith, Mac Neil and herself only had 10-15 minutes between the relay race and the women's 100m butterfly semifinal they competed in before it.

Australia won gold with a Commonwealth Games record time of 3:21.18, while England (3:22.45) grabbed silver.

Mac Neil, Smith and Katerine Savard all qualified for the women's 100m butterfly final that is set to take place Saturday.

In gymnastics, Canada won silver in the men's team event for the second straight time at the Commonwealth Games.

The team consisting of Felix Dolci, Mathys Jalbert, Chris Kaji, Jayson Rampersad and Kenji Tamane totalled 241.2 points, narrowly beating out bronze-medallist Cyprus (239.65).

England ran away with gold with 254.55 points.

Earlier, Kelsey Mitchell, Sarah Orban and Lauriane Genest picked up Canada's first medal when they raced to silver in track cycling's women's sprint team event.

"We wanted that gold but I just went in thinking that there's nothing to lose and just gave it my 100 per cent," said Orban. "Stepping onto that podium doesn't even feel real.

"I'm so proud of both of them. We executed it well and hit our target of getting on the podium and just standing next to them made it that much more special."

New Zealand won the gold-medal race in a time of 47.425 seconds, edging the Canadians who finished in 48.001.

The men's sprint team of Ryan Dodyk, Tyler Rorke and Nick Wammes, moved to the bronze medal final, also against New Zealand, just missing the podium finishing 0.717 seconds behind the Kiwis to take fourth.

Canada's men's 3x3 basketball team went 1-1 on the opening day, beating Kenya 15-12, before dropping a 21-20 decision to Scotland.

Bikramjit Gill led Canada with five points and 10 rebounds against Kenya.

Gill said playing in 3x3 basketball's Commonwealth debut is "phenomenal."

"A lot of people look past it, but sometimes you've just got to be living in the moment, absorb what's going on, see the people and see how excited they are," Gill said. "The crowd gave us a lot of love, so I'm just happy to be here, to be honest."

Canada's goal at the Games is to finish top-3 in the overall medal table. The Canadian team captured 82 medals at the Games four years ago in Australia.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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