The swimming events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are set to take place between 24th July and 1st August 2021. A total of 928 swimmers from around the world will be competing in 37 events (18 for each gender and 1 mixed).
The Summer Olympics will also see events such as the women's 1500 m freestyle, mixed 4 × 100 m medley relay, and men's 800 m freestyle. These three events have been added to the events that were there in the last edition in Rio.
In this article, we will get to know all about popular American swimmer Leah Smith.
Who is Leah Smith?
Leah Grace Smith is a competitive swimmer who is best known for specializing in freestyle events. The 26-year-old was born in Pittsburgh in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
The accomplished swimmer has won a lot of medals at the international level. Leah hails from a family of many accomplished athletes. Her great-grandfather, Jimmy Smith, was a World Series champion baseball player. Leah Smith is also the great-niece of boxer Billy Conn.
Leah Smith holds a B.A. degree from the University of Virginia and graduated in May 2017. During her bachelors, she represented the Virginia Cavaliers swimming and diving team in addition to representing her country at international events.
Leah was a part of the 2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships 4 × 200 m freestyle relay which went on to bag gold by setting a championship record. At the 2015 Summer Universiade, the rising swimmer bagged gold in 4 × 200 m freestyle as well as 400 m freestyle.
Smith bagged gold in both 500-yard freestyle and 1,650-yard freestyle during the 2015 NCAA Championships. She won the top prize in both these events at the 2016 NCAA Championships and was also awarded the IMP Award as the top female athlete at the Annual Awards Dinner at the University of Virginia.
Leah also represented the U.S. at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, and won gold as part of the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay team.
Leah Smith Olympic Performances:
Leah Smith made a memorable debut at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. During the the Women's 400-meter freestyle event, Leah clocked 4:01.92 to bag the Bronze medal. This was her lifetime best.
She finished behind Great Britain's Jazmin Carlin (4:01.23 - Silver) and star swimmer Katie Ledecky (3:56.46 - Gold).
But the true moment of glory came when Leah Smith bagged a coveted gold medal as part of the US 4x200-meter freestyle relay team. The US quartet of four - Leah Smith (1:56.69), Maya DiRado (1:56.39), Allison Schmitt (1:56.21), Katie Ledecky (1:53.74) - cumulatively clocked 7:43.03 to win the elusive gold medal and stand on top of the podium.
Leah Smith Records
Leah Smith holds the record for being the fastest in 800 m freestly (Short Course) with a timing of 8:07.67. It was set during the 2016 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) in Windsor, Canada.
Meanwhile, Leah holds multiple school level records at the University of Virginia. She holds the records in 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle events. Leah Smith is the second fastest U.S. swimmer in the 500 m freestyle event.
Leah Smith also holds multiple World Championships medals. She was a part of the gold medal winning 4×200 m freestyle during the 2015 Kazan World Championships (LC) as well as the 2017 Budapest World Championships (LC). At the Budapest edition, she also won a Silver in 400 m freestyle with a timing of 4:01.54 and a Bronze in 800 m freestyle with a timing of 8:17.22.
Meanwhile, Leah claimed a silver with the U.S 4×200 m freestyle team at the 2019 Gwangju World Championships (LC). She also bagged an individual bronze in Gwangju with a timing of 400 m freestyle.
The decorated swimmer also holds multiple medals at the World Championships (SC). During the 2016 Windsor edition, Leah won gold in in 400 m freestyle (3:57.78) and 800 m Freestyle (8:10.17). She also won a silver in 4×200 m freestyle along with her U.S teammates.
Meanwhile Leah was part of the silver medal-winning US team that cumulatively clocked 7:35.30 to set the national record at the 2018 Hangzhou edition. The splits were Leah Smith (1:55.85), Mallory Comerford (1:53.00), Melanie Margalis (1:53.59) and Erika Brown (1:52.86).
Even after all the heroics of her career, Leah Smith has failed to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Katie Ledecky and Paige Madden won the quota spot and Smith would now have to channelize her energy into focussing for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
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Leah Smith Net Worth
As per multiple sources, Leah Smith's net worth is estimated to be around $1.5 million.