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Swimming

Tokyo Olympics: 14-year-old Summer McIntosh is ALSO showing age is just a number

The Canadian swimmer missed out on a medal while competing with the likes of Ariarne Titmus and Katie Ledecky in the 400m Freestyle event

Summer McIntosh at the Olympic Trials
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Summer McIntosh at the Olympic Trials (Source: Olympics.com)

By

Manish Sharma

Updated: 2021-07-27T12:13:43+05:30

Tokyo Olympics so far has been the stage for the young guns who are making all the headlines at the Games. From a 13-year-old skateboarder, Momiji Nishiya, to an 18-year-old swimmer, Ahmed Hafanoui there have been some astonishing performances from the teenagers.

However, one cannot simply overlook the 14-year-old swimmer Summer McIntosh, who narrowly missed out on a medal in the women's 400m Freestyle swimming event. But the Canadian did manage to set a new national record with a timing of 4:02.42 bettering the previous record which was set by herself a night before at 4:02.72.

Summer McIntosh was also impressive at the Olympic trials in 2021, where she set a time of 1:56.19 in the women's 200m Freestyle event and broke her own Canadian age group record for 13-14-year-olds.

Here's a look, as we deep dive a bit more and understand why Summer McIntosh is so worth the hype.

Mixing it with the big guns

It was always going to be a big ask for Summer McIntosh to win a medal in the 400m Freestyle event as she was up against the likes of Ariarne Titmus and Katie Ledecky. The duo was in a league of their own, with Titmus setting a time of 3:56.39 to win the gold and Ledecky following her with a 3:57.36 to win the silver medal.

Summer McIntosh at Tokyo Olympics (Source: Getty Images)

However, McIntosh who finished fourth was not so far behind the bronze medallist Li Chin from China who had a time of 4:01.08. McIntosh can keep her head high looking at the personal improvement she's made in the 400m Freestyle event at the Tokyo Olympics.

All is not over yet

Summer McIntosh still has two more events, 200m Freestyle, and 800m Freestyle, where she can fight for a medal. In the 200m Butterfly event, the Canadian set a time of 1:56.11 and finished second in heat 4 as she progressed to the semi-final stage. Her timing was fifth fastest overall in the heats.

But in the 200m events as well McIntosh's only hope is of winning a bronze medal because of, yes you guessed it right, Ariarne Titmus and Katie Ledecky. She will also be challenged by the likes of Penny Oleksiak and Madison Wilson who have set better timings than McIntosh in the heats.

Difficult times personally

McIntosh's personal life has been full of struggles as she prepared for the Tokyo Olympics. In January 2021 she discovered that her father, Greg McIntosh, was diagnosed with cancer. With the threat of COVID-19 still very large, the McIntosh family had to take a difficult yet necessary decision to live separately.

Greg moved to a place near Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in downtown Toronto, while Summer and her mother Jill rented a condo near a pool in Scarborough, Ontario. Summer's elder sister, Brooke McIntosh, who is a figure skater and also competed at the 2020 Youth Olympics stayed at their family home in Etobicoke.

All of this happened while McIntosh was still mourning a personal loss. The swimmer had lost her coach, Kevin Thorburn, who passed away in April 2020.

Despite all the struggles, the 14-year-old is still at the Tokyo Olympics and one cannot rule out her chances completely of winning a medal.

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