Summer McIntosh walks in front of a board that says Paris 2024 Trials with a towel over her shoulderTHE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Olympic Swimming Trials: McIntosh and Mac Neil win their first events to qualify for Paris 2024

The first night of the Olympic & Paralympic Swimming Trials, Presented by Bell, is in the books and a couple of world champions have booked their spots on Team Canada for Paris 2024.

In no surprise, Summer McIntosh qualified to be nominated to her second Olympic team. The 17-year-old was victorious in the women’s 400m freestyle, going under the Olympic Qualifying Time as she touched the wall in 3:59.06 — the fastest time in the world this year. That was about three seconds slower than she swam the event at last year’s trials, when she set a world record in the event. That world record was later broken at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships where McIntosh placed just off the podium in fourth place.

The 400m freestyle was the first event in which McIntosh ever competed at the Olympic Games. As a 14-year-old, she finished fourth at Tokyo 2020 where she was the youngest member of Team Canada. The following year, she won silver at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships.

This was the first of seven events in which McIntosh is expected to compete at the Olympic Trials. Still ahead for her are the 200m freestyle (Tuesday), 100m backstroke (Wednesday), 400m IM (Thursday), 100m freestyle (Friday), 200m butterfly (Saturday), and 200m IM (Sunday).

McIntosh was the only Canadian swimmer to achieve the Olympic Qualifying Time in the women’s 400m freestyle. Julie Brousseau, who represented Canada at the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games, came just two-tenths of a second shy of the 4:07.90 she needed to claim a spot in the event for Paris 2024.

Maggie Mac Neil will get the chance to defend her Olympic title in the 100m butterfly. She won the event at the trials in 56.61 seconds, more than a second faster than the Olympic Qualifying Time. She’ll be joined in the event at Paris 2024 by Mary-Sophie Harvey, who finished second in 57.31 to qualify for her first individual Olympic event. She raced in the heats of the 4x200m freestyle relay in her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. The third-place finisher at the trials, Rebecca Smith, was also faster than the Olympic Qualifying Time, but a country can only enter a maximum of two swimmers in each event.

Mac Neil has been amongst the world’s best in the 100m butterfly since winning gold in her debut at the World Aquatics Championships in 2019. Two years later, she was the Olympic champion in the event. After opting out of individual events at the 2022 World Championships, she returned to win silver in the 100m butterfly at the 2023 Worlds. Mac Neil is also entered in the 100m freestyle at the trials.

The last event of the night was the men’s 100m breaststroke. Finlay Knox, who became world champion in the 200m individual medley in February, finished first, but not quite fast enough to secure Olympic qualification in the breaststroke. However, Canada has qualified for the men’s 4x100m medley relay, for which a breaststroker will be needed.

The Olympic and Paralympic Swimming Trials, Presented by Bell, will continue until Sunday at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. Preliminary heats begin at 9:30 a.m. ET each day, with the finals sessions starting at 6:00 p.m. each evening. It all leads up to the official announcement of Team Canada’s Paris 2024 swimming team on Sunday night.

All competition sessions are being streamed live on CBC Sports digital platforms (CBC Gem,, CBC Sports app). There is also a nightly highlight show on CBC TV.