Thursday, December 08, 2022

Teen Mackintosh and Popovici shine at World Cup

BUDAPEST ( Associated Press) – It was a junior day at the World Swimming Championships.

Canada’s 15-year-old Summer McIntosh claimed her maiden world title in the 200m butterfly on Wednesday. Soon after, 17-year-old David Popovici from Romania took his second catch.

The two will have to line up more to catch up with Katie Ledecky, who won her 18th World Championships gold as part of the United States quartet that won the women’s 4×200 relay. At age 25, Ledecky won 21 medals after expanding his record as the most successful swimmer in the history of the competition.

Popovici established himself in the men’s 100 free after winning the 200 in the free on Monday. He became only the second man after American Jim Montgomery in 1973 to complete the 100-200 double at the World Cup. He is also the first Romanian swimmer to win two World Cup golds.

“The airport will be in chaos, but I am ready to welcome,” said Popovici, hoping to return to Bucharest. “For Romanians, it means a lot and I like how they appreciate it.”

The 15-year-old McIntosh took 2:05.20 – a junior world record after beating three Olympic medalists in the 200 butterfly.

“One of my big dreams was to be world champion, especially in the 200 butterfly. It was something I always yearned for because it is one of my favorite races,” said McIntosh, who finished 88th with American Hailey Flickinger and 1.12. Led by the Chinese Zhang Yufei.

Popovici, who broke the junior world record in the 100 heats with a time of 47.13, struggled hard to beat Frenchman Maxime Grouset from six hundredth in the final with a time of 47.58.

Canada’s Joshua Leando Edwards, who led until the halfway point of the final, won the bronze medal.

The United States won their 11th gold in Budapest when Claire Weinstein, Leah Smith, Ledecky and Bella Sims beat the Australian quartet in 2.41 seconds and the Canadian quartet by 3.31 in 4×200.

The United States (11 gold, six silver, nine bronze) and Australia (two gold, five silver and one bronze) have won at least one medal in each of the five rounds.

Kylie Masse claimed Canada’s second gold of the night by winning 50 backstrokes with a time of 27.31 – eight hundredth ahead of American Catherine Berkoff and nine hundredth ahead of France’s Annalia Pigri.

Mays became the first Canadian swimmer, male or female, to win three world championships.

For his part, Frenchman Leon Marchand established himself in the 200 medley with a time of 1:55.22. American Carson Foste and Japanese Daii Seto completed the podium.

It was the second gold for the 20-year-old Marchand at this World Championships. He won the 400 medley on Saturday as he came close to breaking Michael Phelps’s world record.

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