Summer McIntosh wears a gold medal around her neck and Canadian flag draped around her shouldersSwimming Canada/Ian MacNicol
Swimming Canada/Ian MacNicol

Summer McIntosh makes its back-to-back world titles in 200m butterfly

Summer McIntosh absolutely dominated the final of the women’s 200m butterfly at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships on Thursday, giving her back-to-back world titles in the event.

McIntosh swam to a world junior, Canadian, and Americas zone record time of 2:04.06, taking 0.64 off the previous best mark she set at the Canadian Trials in late March. Though her reaction time wasn’t the best, she quickly took the lead and held it from the first turn right to the finish.

In the last 50 metres, McIntosh opened up a full body length lead on the field. Australian Elizabeth Dekkers came in for the silver medal, 1.4 seconds behind the 16-year-old Canadian phenom. American Regan Smith, took the bronze, a full two and a half seconds slower than McIntosh.

“Going into the final I was really pumped up for it as I got gold last time here at worlds,’’ she said. ‘’That was a really special moment for me, so to repeat it again that meant the world. I’m just really overly happy with the result.”

When McIntosh won the women’s 200m butterfly at last year’s worlds in Budapest, it was the first time a Canadian had ever won a world championship medal in the event. This is her second medal of the week in Fukuoka, Japan. On Wednesday she claimed bronze in the women’s 200m freestyle, a nice bounce back from her disappointment in her opening event, the 400m freestyle, in which she was four seconds slower than her personal best time and ended up one spot off the podium.

McIntosh now has six career medals at the long course worlds, three of which are gold. In 2022, she won gold in the 400m individual medley to go with the one she earned in the 200m butterfly. She joins Kylie Masse as the only Canadian swimmers to win three world championship gold medals. They are also the only Canadian swimmers to successfully defend a world title.

  • Sumemr McIntosh swims butterfly stroke
  • Summer McIntosh hangs off the wall of the pool as she looks at the scoreboard
  • Summer McIntosh gives a thumbs up while hanging off the lane rope
  • Summer McIntosh wears a gold medal around her neck

Masse came up just shy of the podium in the women’s 50m backstroke on Thursday, placing fourth, 0.08 out of the bronze medal. She came in as the defending world champion in the event. Fellow Canadian Ingrid Wilm finished sixth.

In the last race of Thursday’s final session, Canada placed fifth in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay. McIntosh swam the second leg on a team that also included Mary-Sophie Harvey, Emma O’Croinin, and Brooklyn Douthwright.

Kelsey Wog advanced to Friday’s final in the women’s 200m breaststroke. She placed fourth last year.