Leah Smith Becomes All-Time 2nd-Fastest 400 Free Textile Performer

2016 U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS

Leah Smith of Virginia posted a 4:00.65 tonight in the 400 free to become the second-fastest textile performer in history.

She is now the fourth-fastest women’s 400 freestyle swimmer in history. The all-time top performers are below:

  1. Katie Ledecky, USA: 3:58.37 (2014)
  2. Federica Pellegrini, Italy: 3:59.15 (2009)
  3. Joanne Jackson, Great Britain: 4:00.60 (2009)
  4. Leah Smith, USA: 4:00.65

Smith is now the fastest ever non-Ledecky American 400 freestyler, and it’s important to note that both Pellegini and Jackson swam their landmark performances in the 2009 supersuit era.

The Americans now hold the top two swims in the world this year, a full three seconds ahead of the world.

2015-2016 LCM Women 400 Free

KatieUSA
LEDECKY
08/07
3.56.46*WR*OR
2Leah
SMITH
USA4.00.6506/27
3Jazmin
CARLIN
GBR4.01.2308/07
4Boglarka
KAPAS
HUN4.02.3708/07
5Coralie
BALMY
FRA4.03.4008/07
View Top 26»

Smith held onto Katie Ledecky‘s tail as the world record holder worked her way to 3:58.98, which just missed the world record. Smith maintained a position about a bodylength and a half behind Ledecky throughout the race.

Perhaps most amazingly, Smith split a faster second 200 than Ledecky, putting up splits of 1:58.16 and 2:02.49 compared to Ledecky’s 1:56.28 and 2:02.70.

Although her slot on the team is not official, Smith is very likely on her way to her first Olympic Games.

You can see the full results of the women’s 400 freestyle final here.

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aviatorfly

why isnt leah automatically qualified? that’s crazy

Coach Mike 1952

Yes, where do we get the “very likely” from?

coacherik

Rules are rules. She’s certainly a lock, but according to the rules, first place is the only automatic.

Looking forward to a possible 1-2 in Rio, two US girls under 4:00 seems to be a possibility. #mindblowing

Coach Mike 1952

Then why are the announcers almost everyone else saying the top two are “on their way to Rio”?

Attila the Hunt

Because while technically, Smith is not automatically qualified, mathematically she is.

TAA

#2 world ranking in her event she will be the first second place finisher named to the team. Oh and she will be top 4 in the 200 anyway.

Gary P

Swim of the night, for sure.

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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