UVA junior Leah Smith wins gold at FINA World Championships

Leah Smith goldVirginia junior swimmer Leah Smith captured gold Thursday (Aug. 6) at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was part of the U.S. women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay that finished in a time of 7:45.37, ahead of Italy and China. Smith, who swam the second leg in 1:56.86, was joined by Missy Franklin, Katie McLaughlin and Katie Ledecky on the relay. Smith led-off the American preliminary relay that won its heat in 7:52.61 with a personal-best time of 1:57.52.

It is Smith’s fourth international gold medal in the last calendar year. She also earned gold in the 400-meter freestyle and the 4x200m free relay last month at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea, and was part of the 4x200m free relay that took home gold at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia. Smith won NCAA titles in the 500-yard freestyle and the 1,650-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championships in March.

Also at the World Championships, senior Yannick Kaeser (Mumpf, Switzerland) broke two Swiss national records. He placed 18th in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke in a time of 2:11.65 and 26th in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:00.94. Kaeser’s time in the 200m breast is an Olympic ‘A’ standard time, qualifying him for the Rio Games in 2016. Kaeser competed at the 2012 London Olympics for Switzerland.

Sophomore Nicholas Magana (Scottsdale, Ariz.) placed 55th in the men’s 100-meter freestyle in 50.99 swimming for Peru. It was Magana’s first senior World Championship appearance after competing at the Junior World Championship and Youth Olympic level for Peru.

– Source: UVA Athletics/Photo credit: Jim Bauman


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