Gastaldello and Wasick impress at Toronto Swimming World Cup

European athletes are looking to build on an impressive start to the World Cup campaign after the first leg in Berlin last week. LEN / Simone Castrovillari

Beryl Gastaldello of France secured her third title of the Fina Swimming World Cup series, while Poland’s Katarzyna Wasick set a new national record on the opening night of the second leg in Toronto.

Gastaldello, who won the 100m individual medley and 50m butterfly events in Berlin last week, secured a second 100m IM victory in 57.97 second, to hold off Beata Nelson of the USA and Sweden’s Louise Hansson.

“It went by super quick and I feel like I fixed all the mistakes I made last week, but then created new ones,” she revealed.

“Eventually I’ll run out of mistakes to make, but overall I’m happy with the win and hoping I can do that again in Indianapolis (the Swimming World Cup third leg venue) next week.”

Wasick claimed European 50m free silver at Roma 2022 – LEN / Simone Castrovillari

Wasick, who was victorious in the 50m freestyle in Germany, also added a second victory in the event to her achievements this season by setting lowering her own Polish record from 23. 30 to 23.27 secs.

It continues an impressive year for the sprinter who followed up a maiden World short course medal – 50m free bronze in Abu Dhabi last December – with World, as well as European, long course silvers this summer.

“I’m extremely happy with a Polish national record,” she told Fina. “I only just started my season and I’m going best-ever times which shows I’m going in the right direction.

“I’m just grateful I can be healthy because I had ups and downs, but this year has definitely started on a good page.”

Another Polish swimmer to impress on day one of the Toronto Swimming World Cup was team-mate Kacper Stokowski, who finished second to Shaine Casas of the USA in the 200m backstroke final.

Casas claimed his second title of the night in the 100m individual medley, edging out Italian 100m backstroke world record holder Thomas Ceccon of Italy.

Caspar Corbeau of the Netherlands was also second, also to an American, with Nic Fink claiming his fourth Fina title of the season with victory in the 100m breaststroke.

One other European swimmer to claim a top-three finish was Danas Rapsys of Lithuania, who was third in the 400m freestyle, won by South African Matt Sates.

Ceccon won the 100m IM in Berlin before taking 50m and 100m backstroke silver – LEN.

The major international highlight of the opening night came in the women’s 400m freestyle where legendary USA swimmer Katie Ledecky came up against 16-year-old rising Canadian star Summer McIntosh.

The American led for much of the race, but McIntosh, who won five World Championship medals aged 15 this summer, produced the stronger finish.

Her time of 3:52.80 was a new world junior record, but that and Ledecky’s (3:52.88) were both under the previous world record mark, which was only broken two days ago by Li Bingjie, who recorded 3:51.30 at the Chinese National Championships.