Summer McIntosh opens Commonwealth Games with record-setting gold medal

Canadian swimmer Summer McIntosh delivered a dominant performance to capture gold in the women’s 400-meter individual medley on Day 1 of the Commonwealth Games on Friday.

The 15-year-old phenom set a new Games record while touching the wall in a time of 4:29.01 at the Sandwell Aquatics Center in Birmingham, England.

The Toronto native cruised to victory while finishing 7.77 seconds ahead of silver medallist Kiah Melverton of Australia. It is Canada’s second medal and first gold at these Games.

Scotland’s Katie Shanahan claimed bronze with a time of 4:39.37.

WATCH | McIntosh wins Canada’s 1st gold medal at 2022 Commonwealth Games:

Summer McIntosh grabs Canada’s 1st gold at Commonwealth Games in 400m IM

Summer McIntosh grabs Canada’s 1st gold at Commonwealth Games in 400m IM

Fellow Canadians Ella Jansen (4:40.17) and Tessa Cieplucha (4:42.27) finished fifth and eighth, respectfully.

McIntosh posted the top time in qualifying earlier on Friday with 4:36.72. She won gold in the event in Budapest last month to become Canada’s youngest-ever swimming world champion.

McIntosh is the third fastest performer in the event’s history and is closing the gap on the world record of 4:26.36 set by Hungarian Katinka Hosszu at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

“I was excited to re-do my time from worlds and see what I can do to get better,” McIntosh said. “I’ve been working on a lot of stuff in training so I can execute my 400m IM better than I did at worlds, because I had so much room for improvement, and I still do.”

Canada added one more medal in the pool later Friday by taking bronze in the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay.

The team of Javier Acevedo, Josh Liendo, Rebecca Smith and Maggie Mac Neil placed third in a time of 3:24.86, fending off a feisty fourth-place Welsh team thanks to Mac Neil’s strong anchor leg.

Australia, which set the world record at world championships last month, won gold in 3:21.18 while hosts England earned silver in 3:22.45.

WATCH | Canada bursts to bronxe in 4x100m freestyle relay:

Canadian mixed 4x100m freestyle relay team captures bronze at Commonwealth Games

Canada’s Maggie Mac Neil, Rebecca Smith, Josh Liendo and Javier Acevedo finish third in the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay team final at the Commonwealth Games.

Liendo, who won two individual bronze medals at world to become the first Black Canadian to reach the podium in an individual event ever at the meet, recorded the third-fastest split, swimming the second leg in 47.89 seconds.

Mac Neil, the three-time Olympic medallist from London, Ont., blazed to the third-fastest anchor leg (53.51) to ensure Canada would wind up on the podium.

Acevedo and Liendo were also part of the 4x100m freestyle team that won silver at worlds. But there was a complete turnover on the women’s side, with Penny Oleksiak skipping the Commonwealth Games and Kayla Sanchez switching allegiance to the Phillipines.

Several other Canadian swimmers advanced on Friday, too.

WATCH | McIntosh receives gold medal:

Watch Summer McIntosh receive Canada’s 1st gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games

The 15-year-old set a games record on her way to gold in the women’s 400m individual medley.

Three Canadians qualified for the women’s 100m butterfly final set for Saturday, including Mac Neil.

The reigning Olympic champion booked her spot while winning her semifinal in 57.72 seconds. Katerine Savard (58.57) and Smith (58.59) also qualified for the medal race.

Fellow Canadian Olympians Liendo and Finlay Knox advanced to the men’s 50m butterfly semifinals, while Acevedo qualified for the men’s 100m backstroke semifinals.

Tokyo Olympic teammate Katrina Bellio secured a spot in the women’s 200m freestyle final.

Canada’s James Dergousoff placed seventh in the men’s 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:13.85.

WATCH | Canada’s swimmers set to take Commonwealth Games by storm:

Canadian swimmers set to take the 2022 Commonwealth Games by storm

Host Rob Pizzo is joined by Olympic swimmer Brittany MacLean to preview Canada’s medal hopesfuls in the pool.

Second straight silver

Canada’s male gymnasts repeated their feat from 2018, taking silver in the team event.

Boosted by impressive scores in the rings and vault, the young Canadian squad totaled 241.2 points, edging out bronze-medallist Cyprus (239.65).

Host England ran away with gold with a total score of 254.55 points.

After Canada’s lone male Olympian in gymnastics, Rene Cournoyer, withdrew late from the Games, the team’s chances look to take a hit.

But the new-look group featuring Felix Dolci, Mathys Jalbert, Chris Kaji, Jayson Rampersad and Kenji Tamane showed they have a bright future themselves and rebounded to match the 2018 result.

Canada wins team sprint silver

The Canadian trio of Kelsey Mitchell, Lauriane Genest and Sarah Orban cycled to a silver medal in the women’s team sprint final at Lee Valley VeloPark in London, England.

The Canadians finished just behind gold medallists New Zealand in a time of 48.001, while the Kiwis set a new Games-record with a time of 47.425.

WATCH | Canadian cyclists score silver:

Canada’s women bring home 1st Commonwealth medal with silver in cycling team sprint

Kelsey Mitchell, Lauriane Genest, and Sarah Orban come up slightly short for gold on the cycling track.

Mitchell, Genest and Orban booked their spot in the final earlier on Friday by finishing second in qualifying with a time of 47.956. They are also competing in the sprint, keirin and time trial events in London — putting Canada in a solid position to reach the track cycling podium again.

Wales bested England for bronze in a time of 47.767.

Canada’s Tyler Rorke, Nick Wammes and Ryan Dodyk fell short in the men’s team sprint bronze final later on Friday, also finishing behind New Zealand.

Australia led qualifying and went on to beat England for the gold medal in a Games-record time of 42.040.

WATCH | The History of Canada’s connection to the Commonwealth Games:

The History of Canada’s connection to the Commonwealth Games

CBC Sports’ Rob Pizzo explains the long and storied history of the relationship between Canada and the Commonwealth Games.

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