Leah Smith Tops Heats With Fastest Ever 800 By An American



Leah Smith put on a clinic in heat four of the 800m freestyle, winning her heat by over an entire 25 in order to claim the top spot heading into finals and drop the fastest 80 ever swum by an American woman.

Smith was averaging 30-points the entire race. She was way out in front at the 150-meter mark and never let go of her lead, extending it constantly throughout the race.

At the 200-meter wall Smith was a 1:59.05, backing that up with a halfway split of 4:02.25. She was a 6:06.07 at the 600 before charging home in a 2:01.60 over the last 200 to clock in a 8:07.67.

Smith’s time makes her the top seed by just over eight seconds, putting her in an amazing position to win her first individual world championship title.

Ashley Twichell could make it a one-two punch for the Americans after her 8:16.08 this morning to win heat number three. Kiah Melverton of Australia and Olivia Anderson of Canada are going into the final third and fourth respectfully.

Hungary’s Iron Lady, Katinka Hosszu, will also be in the final after putting up an 8:25.00 in Smith’s heat. Hosszu has the toughest schedule of all competitors here.

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Sounds ledekian to win by 25 meters


Forget about Ledecky. Leah Smith was 6th in Rio @800 and all those four ( excluding Ledecky) were not here in this race. I do wait for her 400. It can be very impressive.


Fastest ever short course 800 – ledecky’s long course is ever faster. Great swim by smith though. Excited for the final.


Curious if there is a reason for the specific phrasing “fastest time by an American?” and not “American Record”? I understand that American Record might not necessarily mean “fastest time ever”, but it should vice versa, yet AR isn’t mentioned once in the article.

Sprint Nashville

Or averaging 30 points the entire race? Boomshakalaka!

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile is a former Canadian age group swimmer who was forced to end his career early due to a labrum tear in his hip and a torn rotator cuff after being recognized as one of the top 50 breaststrokers his age in Canada. He competed successfully at both age …

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