Canadian athletes are making the most of the opportunity to compete against the best short-course swimmers in the world as the FINA Swimming World Cup makes its long-awaited return to “We The North” for the first time since the competition’s debut in the cold Canadian winter of 1988. Here’s a phenomenal seven from the Maple Leafs’ swimming team, which competes against some formidable competition.
Kylie Masse of Windsor, Ontario
Since the Rio 2016 Olympics, the 26-year-old Canadian has won medals at every significant meet, making him one of the most reliable backstrokers in the world.
She won three short-course silver medals in each of the three backstroke distances at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) last year, and this past summer, at the 19th FINA World Championships, she won a gold medal in the 50-meter backstroke and a silver medal in the 100-meter event.
At this point in her amazing career, Masse is ranked third in the 50-meter backstroke and sixth in the 100-meter event on the list of all-time fastest swimmers. Given that Masse, a native of Windsor, has been residing and training in Toronto since 2015, the Toronto trip will be particularly significant for him.
Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ontario
Over the course of the past year, the 22-year-old swimmer from London, Ontario, has established himself as one of the most dominant swimmers in the world. At the 2021 ANOC Awards, she was given the title of Best Female Athlete of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This was due to the fact that she won gold in the 100-meter butterfly event, setting a new record for both Canada and the Americas, and helped Canada win two medals in the relay events.
A few months later, at the 15th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), Mac Neil set the world record in the 50-meter backstroke. This accomplishment was part of his five-medal haul (4-1-0), which also included a second solo victory in the 100-meter fly. She competed in the relay events at the FINA World Championships held in Budapest the previous summer, and as a result, she brought home three medals: two silver and one bronze.
Javier Acevedo of Toronto, Ontario
Acevedo, a 24-year-old Toronto native, was one of Canada’s busiest swimmers at this summer’s FINA World Championships in Budapest. He was a member of the mixed 4100m freestyle relay team that broke the Canadian record and won silver, as well as competing in three additional relay races and swimming individual 50m and 100m backstroke.
He also won his first two world championship medals in Budapest in 2017, bronze in the 4100m Mixed Freestyle and 4100m Mixed Medley relays. The two-time Olympian had a strong showing at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, U.K., a few weeks after the FINA World Championships this summer, where he helped Canada claim three relay medals and also captured individual bronze in the 50m back, breaking his own Canadian record from five years earlier.
Summer McIntosh of Toronto, Ontario
At the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Trials held at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Center, where McIntosh won gold in the 200 and 800 meters freestyle to qualify for her first Olympic Games at the age of 14, she established herself as a household figure among Canadian fans.
A few months later, the Toronto native made her Olympic debut and finished fourth in both the 400-meter freestyle and the 4200-meter freestyle relay in Canadian record times. At the 25-meter FINA World Championships in 2021, McIntosh continued her international success by winning the 4200 free relay gold and adding silvers in the 4100 medley and 400 free.
She shattered the world junior records in all three of the individual events she competed in at the 19th FINA World Championships, as well as in the first leg of the 4x200m freestyle relay. With four gold from Budapest, including individual victories in the 200 butterfly and 200 IM, the now 16-year-old went home.
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