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Leanne Smith Takes Gold At The World Para Swimming Championships in London

By Olivia Truby | Sept. 11, 2019, 7 p.m. (ET)

Leanne Smith earns the world title in the women's 150-meter individual medley SM4 at the World Para Swimming Championships in London.


LONDON – Highlighted by a Pan American and world championships record from Leanne Smith (Salem, Massachusetts), Team USA tallied four medals on the third day of competition at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships at the London Aquatics Center in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


Highlights From The Pool

Rising to the top – Smith swam to the first world championship medal of her career, winning the gold medal and claiming the world title in the women’s 150-meter individual medley SM4 (2:56.49). Smith, who is an SM3, swam up in the SM4 class and set a Pan American and world championships record.

Pair of silvers – Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland) tallied her second silver medal of the world championships with a second-place finish in the women’s 100-meter butterfly (S8), while Robert Griswold (Freehold, New Jersey) finished second in the 100 fly S8 with a time of 1:02.81.

Back-to-back bronze – Following a bronze medal Tuesday night, Lizzi Smith (Muncie, Indiana) swam to her second bronze medal in as many days on Wednesday, placing third in the women’s 100 fly S9. Her time of 1:08.12 marked a new Pan American record.


Team USA Results

Overall: 14 medals (6 golds, 6 silvers, 2 bronzes)

Sept. 11: 4 medals (1 gold, 2 silvers, 1 bronze)

Gold (1): Leanne Smith (Salem, Mass.), women’s 150 IM SM4 (2:56.49) 

Silver (2): Robert Griswold (Freehold, N.J.), men’s 100 fly S8 (1:02.81); Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.), women’s 100 fly S8 (1:09.78)

Bronze (1): Lizzi Smith (Muncie, Ind.), women’s 100 fly S9 (1:08.12)

Full results can be found on the World Para Swimming Championships website.

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Leanne Smith

“I don’t think it’s quite set in yet. I kept looking back at the board to really see my time and make sure it was aligned with my name and the USA, so I’m in a bit of shock at the moment. I’m really excited to get to that podium and hear our anthem. It was completely unexpected but I’m feeling good.”

Lizzi Smith

“My left leg is in a lot of pain right now, but it felt good looking up at the clock and seeing a best time and third place next to it. I put a lot of pressure on myself with butterfly, and I knew it was going to be a fight. There’s three of us and any one of us could have taken silver, bronze or 4th, so it’s super relieving. This is a good marker to show that what I’ve been doing is working. It also shows some small weaknesses that I can be working on for the next year to break 1:08.


Looking Forward

Ten Team USA athletes will take to the pool tomorrow. Griswold will strive for his third medal in three days, while Ellie Marks (Prescott Valley, Arizona) will kick off her first race in the women’s 100 backstroke S7. The full schedule can be found here.


How To Watch

Fans can watch live coverage of all finals sessions on the Olympic Channel, beginning at 1 p.m. ET daily, with additional streaming online at NBCSports.com/Live or through the NBC Sports app.


Get Connected

For updates throughout the meet, follow U.S. Paralympics Swimming on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.