SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers if Summer McIntosh will break a long course world record in 2023, and if so, which comes first:
Question: Will Summer McIntosh break a LCM world record in 2023? If so, which will come first?
400 IM – 71.4%
No WR in 2023 – 16.3%
400 free – 7.9%
200 fly – 2.5%
200 IM – 1.0%
Other – 0.8%
Summer McIntosh‘s explosion as arguably the most versatile swimmer in the world came fast and furious last year, as the Canadian sensation followed up her international breakout at the Tokyo Olympic Games with some jaw-dropping performances in early 2022.
McIntosh entered the year with a personal best time on record of 4:50.21 in the 400 IM, and then at a Swimming Canada World Trials prep event in early March, clocked a mind-boggling 4:29.12 in the event to become the third-fastest performer in history while also going nearly three seconds quicker than what Japan’s Yui Ohashi went to win the Olympic gold medal the previous summer (4:32.08).
McIntosh, 15 at the time, also went 2:05.81 in the 200 fly in March, and that meet proved to only be the start of what was a phenomenal year for the Etobicoke Swimming product, as she roared to world titles in both events, challenged Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus in the 400 free, and also established new World Junior Records in the 200 free and 200 IM.
Given her rapid rise in 2022, it feels as though it’s a matter of when, not if, McIntosh breaks her first world record.
In our most recent poll, nearly 84 percent of readers believe she’ll break a long course world record this year, with 71.4 predicitng that the 400 IM mark will fall first.
That’s certainly the event in which she’s been threatening the most—McIntosh is still more than two seconds shy of Katinka Hosszu‘s all-time mark of 4:26.36 from 2016, but she has lowered her PB twice since March, first clocking 4:29.01 at the Commonwealth Games in August and then getting down to 4:28.61 at the U.S. Open in December.
McIntosh’s performance at the U.S. Open, seemingly untapered, gives the indication that the world record is well within her grasp this year.
McIntosh’s Personal Best Progression, Women’s 400 IM (LCM)
4:50.21 – April 2019
4:29.12 – March 2022
4:29.01 – July 2022
4:28.61 – December 2022
Nearly eight percent of readers voted for the 400 free, where McIntosh is nearly three seconds back of the mark established by Titmus (3:56.40) earlier this year. Still, McIntosh went 4:02.42 to place fourth in the event in Tokyo, and followed up last year by breaking 4:00 three times, including once at the U.S. Open last month.
There were also a handful of votes for the 200 fly, an event where McIntosh won the world title by nearly nine-tenths of a second in 2022 in 2:05.20, but still sits well shy of the vaunted super-suited world record of 2:01.81, set by Liu Zige in 2009.
Difference /100 meters
Over 16 percent voted that they don’t believe McIntosh will break a world record in the long course pool this year. Time will tell. It certainly doesn’t help that the 400 IM falls on the eighth and final day of what will be everyone’s main target meet this year, the World Championships in Fukuoka, but McIntosh has proven she can drop earth-shattering times at any point on the calendar.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks: Which Power Five women’s conference title is the most wide-open one month out?
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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians. Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.