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Summer McIntosh hugs Julie Brousseau after winning the women's 200m freestyle at the Canadian Olympic Swim Trials in Toronto on May 14.Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

How fast is Summer McIntosh swimming right now? With just over two months until the Paris Olympics, one of her teammates has come up with a new way to measure herself against Canada’s leading gold-medal contender.

It’s not some newfangled fancy stat. This one is pure eye test.

“I was able to see her feet today,” said Mary-Sophie Harvey, who swam one lane over from McIntosh at the Canadian Olympic Trials Tuesday night in Toronto, and managed to stay as close as she could to the dominant 17-year-old.

“I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I can see her feet – that must be good.”

McIntosh has looked near-untouchable this week, securing her second entry for Paris in as many days by winning the 200-metre freestyle, after claiming the 400m freestyle one night earlier in a race she wasn’t happy with, but still decisively won.

“It’s been a good meet so far,” McIntosh said. “Yesterday’s I wasn’t ecstatic about, obviously, but it’s important to just keep pushing forward.”

But as McIntosh cruised to another victory, Olympic stalwart Penny Oleksiak struggled in her first event at the trials.

Canada’s most decorated Olympian, having claimed seven medals over the past two Games, placed ninth in a time of 200.18.

The result ratchets up the pressure on Oleksiak this week, though she can still secure an individual spot on the Paris team in the 100-metre freestyle on Friday and the 50-metre freestyle on Sunday. If she doesn’t qualify on her own, Swimming Canada can use its discretion to name Oleksiak, or others, to the relay team, where she has always played a key role in podium success.

Oleksiak has battled injuries over the past few years and shook up her pre-Olympic routine with a move to California, where she trains with a team in the Los Angeles area. Swimming Canada officials may be more focused on how fast she can be in late July, as she gears up for Paris, rather than her results this week.

“My story is not over yet,” Oleksiak said after the race, adding that she’s been paying more attention to training for the 100m and 50m freestyles.

“On to the next one,” she said.

Harvey placed second in the 200-metre freestyle, with a time of 1:55.44, giving her a second qualification for Paris, after already making the team in the 100-metre butterfly.

“Two races, two tickets, can’t ask for better,” she said.

Julie Brousseau (1:57.60) and Emma O’Croinin (1:57.86) finished third and fourth. Though both fell short of the 1:57.26 Olympic qualifying time in the event, their top-four finishes set them up for their first Olympics as members of the relay team.

“I’m really excited for it,” Brousseau said.

After narrowly missing out on a roster spot in her first event Monday, Brousseau said securing a trip to Paris helps take the pressure off the rest of the week.

“I’m definitely feeling more confident knowing that I’m on the team,” she said.

The trials run until the weekend with the roster for Paris to be finalized on Sunday.

McIntosh burst on the Olympic scene as a 14-year-old during the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, narrowly missing the podium. Now, three years later, she has set numerous records and is expected to contend in multiple events.

“She seemed, like, unattainable,” Harvey said of McIntosh’s rapid ascent in international swimming. “Honestly it just pushes us, all the girls, to better ourselves, and we want to race her.”

McIntosh described her training strategy in advance of the Olympics as “a jigsaw puzzle,” with multiple different distances to focus on. But she shrugged off any concerns about a heavy workload.

“Me and my coach are great communicators and we know exactly what the plan is heading into Paris,” McIntosh said.

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