Summer McIntosh sets another world junior, national record, headlines Canadian world championship team
Summer McIntosh has capped off one of the most impressive swimming meets ever by setting another world junior and Canadian record at the national trials.
A night after an electrifying world record-breaking swim in the 400-metre individual medley, McIntosh powered her way to another memorable swim, this time in the 200m freestyle.
The 16-year-old phenom lowered her record with a time of 1:53.91 on Sunday night at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.
“I mean I’m pretty exhausted at this point but it’s been a lot of fun to compete in my home pool with all the Canadians in the stands, and honestly the only reason I can do this is because of everyone surrounding me, my teammates, friends, family and my coaches,” McIntosh said.
“It was pretty hard. I tried to leave it all in the pool. Overall I’m pretty happy with the race. There are always things to improve on but to finish this week this way I’m overall happy.”
In her five events this week, McIntosh broke five world junior and Canadian records, including two world records.
“Learning how to recover in between events with this big lineup. It’s not just recovering physically but mentally too. You don’t want to get too high or too long because that can really distract you. You just want to stay as chill as possible,” McIntosh said.
Worlds roster finalized
After a week of extraordinary performances, not only by McIntosh but many other athletes, Swimming Canada finalized its roster for worlds this upcoming July in Fukuoka, Japan.
Canada is sending one of its most competitive teams ever to a swimming world championships, including 31 athletes.
The talent is jaw-dropping and the depth in the program is unparalleled — nine Canadian records were broken throughout the six days of competition in Toronto.
Along with McIntosh other household names include Olympic champion Maggie Mac Neil, most decorated FINA swimmer Kylie Masse, rising star and NCAA champion Josh Liendo, 18-year-old Ilya Kharun as well as Katerine Savard who is making her sixth world championship appearance for Canada.
Here is the full list:
- Javier Acevedo — Toronto
- Sophie Angus — Weston, Conn.
- Jeremy Bagshaw — Victoria
- Eric Brown — Pointe-Claire, Que.
- James Dergousoff — Christina Lake, B.C.
- Brooklyn Douthwright — Riverview, N.B.
- Emma Finlin — Mississauga, Ont.
- Edouard Fullum-Huot — Montreal
- Ruslan Gaziev — Moscow
- Collyn Gagne — Milton, Ont.
- Mary-Sophie Harvey — Trois-Rivières, Que.
- Hanna Henderson — Mississauga, Ont.
- Patrick Hussey — Montreal
- Ella Jansen — Burlington, Ont.
- Ilya Kharun — Montreal
- Finlay Knox — Okotoks, Alta.
- Josh Liendo — Markham, Ont.
- Maggie Mac Neil — London, Ont.
- Kylie Masse — LaSalle, Ont.
- Summer McIntosh — Toronto
- Hugh McNeill — Langley, B.C.
- Emma O’Croinin — Edmonton
- Penny Oleksiak — Toronto
- Sydney Pickrem — Clearwater, Fla.
- Taylor Ruck — Kelowna, B.C.
- Katerine Savard — Pont-Rouge, Que.
- Brayden Taivassalo — Markham, Ont.
- Lorne Wigginton — Calgary
- Ingrid Wilm — Norwich, England
- Kelsey Wog — Winnipeg
- Mabel Zavaros — Burlington, Ont.
“Team is looking awesome. We’re looking good. Last year I showed the world that I can compete at the highest level. Now it’s about going back there and improving on that performance,” Liendo said.
Liendo set a Canadian record in the 50m fly in a time of 23.27 to finish his competition on Sunday night.
“It’s been so much fun. It was just good to be back,” he said.
“Last year bronze and silvers. But the goal is to be at the top of the podium and I’m going to keep working and keep fighting to get there.”
High performance director John Atkinson has called this the golden generation of Canadian swimming.
“Like I said at the beginning, it’s here and it’s now and it’s coming to Fukuoka, Japan this summer,” Atkinson said.
“Everyone can enjoy this moment and enjoy the celebratory feeling of making a Canadian team going to the world championships, which is always special.”
But for as good as the Canadian swimmers and Atkinson are feeling right now, it’s back to business in short order to start preparing for worlds.
Last summer at the world championships in Budapest Canadian swimmers won an historic 11 medals, including breaking five Canadian records.
Many are still talking about McIntosh’s performance at these trials.
The Toronto native started the event by breaking the 400m freestyle world record, stopping the clock in a time of 3:56.08, breaking the record held by Ariarne Titmus of Australia.
McIntosh is the first swimmer in history to hold both the 400m freestyle and 400m individual medley long course world records at the same time.
On Thursday night, McIntosh broke her own world junior record in the 200m individual medley. Her time of 2:06.89 yesterday would have won gold at worlds last summer. It also would have won gold at the Tokyo Olympics by more than a second.
On Friday night, McIntosh set a world junior and Canadian record in the 200m butterfly.
Her time of 2:04.70 took down her previous record time (2:05.05) set earlier this month.
The swimmer that has been called a once in a generation talent has certainly lived up to that billing after an unforgettable national trials.
“It’s amazing to have all the Canadians in the stands. I feel all of their support and I just want to say thank you to everyone for supporting me and cheering me on. It really does mean the world,” McIntosh said.
Now she has her sights set on the world championships.
Her Sarasota Sharks coach Brent Arckey has been named to the Canadian support staff.
“I’m there for Summer. I’m there to help Canada be the best they possibly can be. I’ll be the guy who will do whatever anybody needs. I’m there to help Summer work through a big problem and also there to help the team,” he said.
Arckey says this was optimal preparation for worlds.
“Really special. We have a 16-year-old girl here that every time she gets in the water we have super high expectations. We should all be super proud of her and what she’s doing for her country,” he said.
“We had to come to a six-day swim meet, swim multiple things and we’ll go and evaluate next week. I’m already thinking about some things and I’m sure she is too. We’ll put our heads together and figure out how we’re going to make ourselves better for worlds.”
Savard won a close battle with Masse in the women’s 50 butterfly, beating the fellow Tokyo Olympian by just 0.03 seconds with a time of 26.56.
Javier Acevedo wrapped up a strong week by topping the podium in the men’s 200 freestyle (1:47.72). The 25-year-old from Toronto lowered his Canadian record in the men’s 50 backstroke to 24.90 on Wednesday.
Sunday’s Para winners were Shelby Newkirk in the women’s 100 backstroke multi-class (1:21.06) and Nicholas Bennett in the men’s 100 backstroke multi-class (1:02.57).
Eric Brown won the men’s 1,500 freestyle in 15:26.85 for his third national title of the week, while Mabel Zavaros won the women’s 800 freestyle (8:38.17).
Sail Canada says coach fired because lack of money, not pregnancy
Lisa Ross wants her job back.
The two-time Olympic sailor for Canada was named to the national sailing team’s coaching staff three years ago.
Nine days after telling Sail Canada in March she was pregnant and would take maternity leave later this year, Ross was fired.
Ross was in Andora, Italy, where she’d been coaching Canadian sailors at the European championship. She was about to head to Spain for more competitions and training camps.
The 46-year-old from Mahone Bay, N.S., said during the March 17 video call with Sail Canada’s chief executive officer Don Adams and high-performance director Mike Milner, she was told to pack her bags and return to Canada.
“It was strange and shocking,” Ross told The Canadian Press. “It was a five-minute phone call where I was fired, basically, without cause.
“I was in Europe. I was in the middle of a planned six-week trip.”
Sail Canada said lack of money, and not Ross’s pregnancy, was the reason for her firing.
“Sail Canada terminated Lisa Ross’s contract for financial reasons which had nothing to do with Lisa Ross being pregnant,” the organization said in a statement to The Canadian Press.
“Discussions and the decision to terminate Lisa Ross’s contract took place well before she verbally informed Sail Canada high performance director that she was pregnant.
$80,000 annual salary
Sail Canada said Ross’s salary was supported by Sport Canada Gender Equity funding, which was eliminated at the end of the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
“Sail Canada was able to maintain Lisa Ross’s position in the next fiscal year through the Return to Sport funding program but, unfortunately, that funding is no longer available in 2023-2024,” the organization said.
Ross’s annual salary was $80,000. The federal government renewed its funding for gender equity in sport in October with a commitment of $25.3 million over three years.
“This is not available at present, but we have been informed it may be some time in the future,” Sail Canada said in a statement. “We do not know if female coaching will be part of the areas of funding.
Sail Canada said it made its decision to fire Ross “because of financial reasons based on the information available at the time of budget finalization.”
I would have liked the opportunity, if funding was the issue, to visit any possibility of ensuring I can continue in my role …— Former Sail Canada coach Lisa Ross on her firing
“With the 2023-2024 Olympic season fast approaching, and in order for Sail Canada to prioritize Olympic hopefuls and maintain a balanced budget, Sail Canada has to make drastic cuts to its high-performance budget.”
Sail Canada said it sought a Nova Scotia labour lawyer’s advice on Feb. 21 to vet the decision to dismiss Ross.
Ross departed for Europe at the end of February and had no inkling her job was on the chopping block until she was sacked March 17.
“I just would have liked the opportunity, if funding was the issue, to visit any possibility of ensuring that I can continue in my role as one of the more senior coaches on the staff,” Ross said.
Sail Canada said it waited until after the European championship March 10-17 to fire her “so that it would not become a distraction for the athletes.”
Another female hired on contract basis
Ross was the only woman on Sail Canada’s technical staff of a high-performance director and coaches.
Since her dismissal, Rosie Chapman was hired on a contract basis.
Chapman is partially subsidized by athletes and costs 20 per cent of a full-time salary, Sail Canada said.
Ross competed for Canada in 2004 in Athens in women’s three-person keelboat and 2008 in Beijing in women’s dinghy.
She coached laser sailor Brenda Bowskill at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Ross was named the Canadian sailing team’s development coach in 2020, but she coached the senior men’s laser team that year.
Ross didn’t coach at Tokyo’s Olympics in 2021. She was on maternity leave with her second child.
She was coaching the 49er FX women’s development team when she was fired. Her third child is due Sept. 1.
She’d planned to continue coaching until August when she could no longer fly.
Ross intended to be back with the athletes in time for January’s world championship and to help prepare them for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. She says she communicated that plan to Sail Canada the day she told the organization she was pregnant.
Milner replied that same day: “You should also know Rosie and I have been talking on and off for more than a year on joining our team and I think this is a great opportunity for the girls while you are on mat leave.”
Lawsuit not filed against Sail Canada
Milner also wrote in that email to Ross that his “initial thought” would be to have Chapman become the international coach after April’s Princess Sofia or Hyeres regattas “and focus you on domestic training.”
Ross has filed claims with Nova Scotia’s Labour Standards Board and Human Rights Commission but has not sued Sail Canada.
“I’m not asking for a massive amount of money,” Ross said. “I’m asking for my job back.”
The World Sailing Trust recently launched a half-dozen recommendations under an initiative called Project Juno to “support better maternity policies in sailing.”
While Sail Canada insists her pregnancy did not cost Ross her job, it says the organization has pregnancy and parental leave policy “that is in keeping with the Ontario Employment Standards Act” and subject to Sport Canada’s Athletes Assistance Program policies and procedures.
Ross says she has never seen that policy.
She hasn’t filed a complaint with the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC), which was established almost a year ago to administer Canadian sport’s universal code of conduct. Sail Canada is a signatory to OSIC.
“I want my job back, so I want to focus on that,” Ross said. “I want to be a part of the sport system that I’ve been a part of since I was 17.
“I went to my first Pan Am Games when I was 17. It’s been a scary process to go through, just even with my relationship with Sail Canada because that’s been a huge part of my life and I want that to continue.”
Jubilant Latvians given national holiday after shock ice hockey win over USA
Latvians woke up to go to work Monday morning, only to find they didn’t have to. Their parliament had met at midnight to declare a holiday after the national ice hockey team chalked up its best result at the world championship.
Latvia, where hockey is hugely popular, co-hosted the men’s championship with Finland, and the country’s 4-3 overtime victory over the United States for the bronze medal on Sunday was greeted with jubilation.
A plane bringing the team home from Finland flew at low altitude over central Riga on Monday to greet thousands of fans who had gathered to welcome the squad.
At quarter to midnight on Sunday, members of parliament, sporting red-and-white national team jerseys, convened for a 10-minute session to unanimously declare the holiday.
It was “to strengthen the fact of significant success of Latvian athletes in the social memory of the society,” according to the bill’s sponsors.
The bill was introduced by a smiling member of parliament with her face painted in the colors of the national flag. Another giggled while trying to read out the names of absent parliamentarians, to laughter from many in the hall. There was an ovation from everyone present after the final vote.
But as dawn broke, there was confusion about who was working and who was not. Court hearings were canceled and schools and universities were closed, but national exams for high school students went ahead, with staff paid at holiday rates. Several hospitals chose to stay open to honor doctor appointments.
Businesses found themselves in some disarray, with Aigars Rostovskis, the president of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, telling public broadcaster LSM: “It will be chaos for many.”
Canada won the gold medal, the team’s record 28th world title, by defeating Germany 5-2 on Sunday.
Kamloops Blazers rout Peterborough Petes 10-2 in Memorial Cup
KAMLOOPS, British Columbia — Logan Stankoven had a goal and four assists, Connor Levis had a goal and two assists and the Kamloops Blazers routed the Ontario Hockey League champion Peterborough Petes 10-2 in the Memorial Cup on Sunday.
The win came after Kamloops defenseman Kyle Masters was taken off the ice on a stretcher after he was hit and fell backward into the corner boards with less than seven minutes remaining. There was no immediate word on Masters’ condition.
Ryan Michael, Fraser Minten, Ashton Ferster, Matthew Seminoff, Dylan Sydor, Jakub Demek, Matthew Seminoff and Ryan Hofer each scored goals for the Blazers, who bounced back from an 8-3 loss to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Quebec Remparts on Friday night.
Caedan Bankier and Olen Zellweger also added two assists each for the Blazers, who scored four power-play goals and improved to 1-1 in the four-team, 10-day tournament.
Peterborough dropped to 0-2 and must beat Quebec on Tuesday to advance.
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