Many of the best swimmers in the world will compete in the second stop of the short course meters circuit this weekend in Toronto, Canada, where the second leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2022 gets begin.
The following seven races during this weekend’s meet in Toronto shouldn’t be missed.
The Women’s 400m Freestyle
How quick is Katie Ledecky? The world record of 3:53.92 held by Australian Ariarne Titmus could be in risk this weekend because of the greatest distance swimmer in history’s infrequent participation in short course meters. Ledecky’s fastest time is 3:54.06 from late 2019, so it’s unlikely that she will sprint to the finish line in under three minutes, but everyone will be watching the time when she does.
Ledecky will compete in her former home pool with longtime teammate Leah Smith and emerging Canadian sensation Summer McIntosh, the two medalists from this summer’s World Championships. This summer, McIntosh and Ledecky competed head-to-head in the 400 freestyle in long course, and the 15-year-old Canadian seems to become quicker every time she jumps into the water. McIntosh has a chance to defeat the legendary Ledecky.
400 IM for Women
The 400 IM is likely Summer McIntosh’s greatest event, and if she is in good shape, Mireia Belmonte’s world record time of 4:18.94 might be in jeopardy. Swimming sensation McIntosh will compete in front of a Toronto audience who can’t wait to watch her as she gets ready for what could be a successful summer in 2023.
The USA’s Hali Flickinger and Leah Smith, the former of whom won the Olympic bronze medal in this competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, may present McIntosh with her greatest hurdles.
The Men’s 100m Freestyle
Joshua Liendo of Canada, who is currently training at the University of Florida in the United States, will return to his previous home of Toronto to perform for the Canadian audience. Liendo made a name for himself this summer by winning individual bronze medals in the 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly at the World Championships.
At the age of 20, Liendo will face up against Australia’s world record holder Kyle Chalmers, who defeated Liendo in the Commonwealth Games this summer. Chalmers has previously won the 100m freestyle in Berlin and hopes to win all three events in this tournament. But if anyone can bring him down, it might be Liendo.
The Women’s 100m Butterfly
Maggie MacNeil, an Olympic winner, will compete in her hallmark event in front of a captivated Toronto audience who are excited to watch one of their favorite swimmers in action. Louise Hansson of Sweden should challenge MacNeil despite the fact that she now holds the third-fastest time in history for the 100-meter butterfly in short course meters.
As she and MacNeil have engaged in numerous bouts over the years, Hansson is currently fifth all-time and has already won the competition in Berlin on stop #1.
The Men’s 100m Backstroke
The world records for the short course and long course will be contested in one of the most intriguing races of the entire weekend in Toronto. Thomas Ceccon, the current world champion, will compete against Coleman Stewart, the current world record holder for the short course meters, and Berlin winner Shaine Casas.
As they compete against a fresh Stewart, who has historically been nearly a full second quicker than both Casas and Ceccon, with a 48.33 last year, Casas prevailed over Ceccon in Berlin last week.
This weekend may not bring any world records, but the race should still be thrilling and quick because Javier Acevedo of Canada is also anticipated to compete.
The Women’s 50m Breaststroke
In Berlin, Ruta Meilutyte came the closest to setting a world record, swimming a 28.60 to only miss Alia Atkinson’s 28.56 mark. As Meilutyte has rekindled her career and is swimming faster than ever after being one of the top World Cup winners as a youngster a decade ago, Atkinson might not have much longer to hold that world record.
American Lilly King, who is third all-time behind Meilutyte, will compete with Meilutyte in the race. Meilutyte and King may swim close to their personal best timings or even faster as anticipation and interest over a potential world record grow.
The Men’s 200m Freestyle
Matthew Sates defeated Kyle Chalmers in round one of the 200m freestyle in Berlin, and the two will meet again in Toronto, along with Kieran Smith and Danas Rapsys, as well as American Drew Kibler.
Sates came from behind to win in Berlin in 1:40.88, while Chalmers ran the first 100 quicker than Paul Biedermann’s world record time of 1:39.37 set in November 2009. Add in Kibler, who just missed the podium at this year’s World Championships and has short course meters expertise, and he might be a significant wild card to play spoiler in his home state’s 200m free.
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