Leah Smith Crowned 800m Free World Champion at FINA World Championships (25m)

Leah Smith Crowned 800m Free World Champion at FINA World Championships (25m)

 | Friday, December 9, 2016

Olympic bronze medalist Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa./Cavalier Swimming) posted an impressive victory in the 800-meter freestyle Thursday at the FINA World Championships (25m) at Windsor, Canada’s WFCU Centre.

Through three nights of competition, Team USA has earned 13 medals – five gold, five silver and three bronze.

The U.S. claimed the top two podium spots in the 800m freestyle with Smith leading the way and American Ashley Twichell (Fayetteville, N.Y./Mission Viejo Nadadores) close behind taking home the silver. The two Americans were stroke-for-stroke until Smith pulled slightly ahead in the last 400-meters winning with a time of 8-minutes, 10.17 seconds. Twichell finishing in 8:11.95.

“It feels amazing to win my first world championship, these are not easy to come by so I’m very excited about it,” said Smith. “I’m also so happy for Ashley. Before we walked out, Ashley said that we could give the U.S. the first 1-2 finish of the meet and that pumped us both up and helped us swim fast.” 

Team USA continued their relay success with another gold tonight in the mixed 4x50m medley relay. The quartet of Tom Shields (Huntington Beach, Calif./California Aquatics), Lilly King (Evansville, Ind./Indiana University), Kelsi Worrell (Westampton, N.J./University of Louisville) and Michael Chadwick (Charlotte, N.C./University of Missouri) surged to victory in the final 50-meters after holding steady in the fifth place for the first three legs. In the last 50-meters, Chadwick split a 20.44 to out-touch the rest of the field for the win. Their time of 1:37.22 was good for a new world championship record. 

Shields also took home an individual medal tonight, his second of the meet, claiming silver in the men’s 100m fly touching in 49.04.

Complete results from Windsor are available online.

The six-day competition runs through Sunday with daily prelims at 9:30 a.m. ET, followed by finals at 6:30 p.m. NBC Sports will offer live streaming of prelims and finals, as well as nightly television coverage in the United States on either NBC Sports Network or Universal HD.
 

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