Skip to simplified nav
Leah Smith Wins World Title in 800m Freestyle

Leah Smith

Dec. 8, 2016

Results | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

WINDSOR, Ontario—Virginia senior swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Leah Smith won the 800-meter freestyle at the 2016 FINA Short Course World Championships Thursday night (Dec. 8) at the Family Aquatic Complex in Windsor, Ontario.

Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) won the 800m free in a time of 8:10.17. The Americans went 1-2 as Ashley Twichell touched second to Smith in a time of 8:11.95, while Kiah Melverton of Australia was third in 8:16.51. Smith broke the American record on Wednesday in prelims with a time of 8:07.67. Kate Ziegler held the previous American record of 8:08.00, set in 2007.

“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.” 

It is Smith’s first individual senior international gold medal. The Cavalier senior won Olympic gold with the U.S. 4x200m free relay and bronze in the 400m free at the Rio Olympics. It is Smith’s second world championship title after earning gold with the 4x200m free relay at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. Smith also won gold with the same relay at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia.

Smith finished seventh in the 200m free on Tuesday evening in a personal-best time of 1:54.49. She will compete in the 400m free on Friday and be a part of the U.S. 4x200m free relay on Saturday.


 

 

At Virginia, Smith is a four-time NCAA Champion, winning the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle events in both 2015 and 2016. She is an 11-time All-American and 10-time ACC Champion.

Schedules

Top Videos
Jeff White
Allie Nicholson
Nicholson Shines On and Off Water at UVA
Women's Rowing
5/25/17
Allie Nicholson, who had never rowed before arriving at UVA in 2013, is now a key member of one of the nation's top programs.
Brian Boland
'Hoos Eager to Make More History
Men's Tennis
5/22/17
A win over No. 9 seed North Carolina on Tuesday afternoon would give second-seeded Virginia its third straight NCAA men's tennis title.
Kelly McKee
McKee Thriving in New Surroundings
Track & Field, Cross Country
5/22/17
A transfer from Kansas, Kelly McKee will compete in the triple jump this week at the NCAA East Regional meet in Lexington, Kentucky.

Jeff White

Director of News Content

jwhite@virginia.edu

A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

Archives
More Headlines
Online Stores
Auctions
Cavalier Team Shop