Canada’s Summer McIntosh became the first swimmer to beat Katie Ledecky in the 800-meter freestyle on Friday — the first time Ledecky has lost in the event since 2010.
Participating in the Southern Zone South Sectional Championships in Orlando Florida, the 17-year-old McIntosh recorded a personal-best time of 8:11.39, nearly six seconds faster than Ledecky, who McIntosh has said was her idol when she was younger.
SUMMER MCINTOSH BEATS KATIE LEDECKY IN THE 800M
NATIONAL RECORD BY ALMOST 10
— Devin Heroux (@Devin_Heroux) February 8, 2024
According to the CBC’s Devin Heroux, McIntosh’s time is the second-fastest ever in the 800m and would have been good enough for the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Ledecky, the three-time defending Olympic champion, still owns the 16 fastest times in the event, which includes her 8:04.79 world record set in Dec. 2016. The 26-year-old also has won the last six world championships in the distance.
Ledecky is expected to go for gold again in the event at the Paris Olympics this summer — a feat that would make her the first woman to win four consecutive titles in Olympic swimming.
McIntosh, meanwhile, is the two-time defending world champion in the 200m butterfly and 400m medley, as well as the world record holder in the 400m individual medley. The 800m freestyle has not been part of her Olympic program, but this result could change what races she’ll enter when the Paris Games begin.