August 30, 2013

Clara Smiddy of AquaKids Sharks won her first major individual international medal Friday at the FINA World Junior Championships in Dubai.

Smiddy, 17, of the South Florida Heat swim team, finished third in the 50-meter backstroke for a bronze medal on Day 5 of the six-day meet.

Smiddy finished in a lifetime-best 28.86, ahead of U.S. teammate Kathleen Baker and Olympian Ruta Meilutyte. Smiddy’s previous best was 29.10 which she first lowered in prelims in 29.08 and again in semifinals in 28.88.

It was her third bronze medal. She was also part of the U.S. team’s third place 400-meter mixed medley and 400-meter medley relays.

Smiddy, a member of the U.S. junior national team, had just missed a medal in the 100-meter backstroke earlier in the week by .06 seconds.

Smiddy, working on her third taper, was all smiles on the awards podium and wrapping up her final event.

U.S. teammate Becca Mann of Clearwater won the 1500-meter freestyle by 10 seconds in 16:23.89. Isabella Rongione, also of the U.S., took the bronze in 16:35.28.

American Gunnar Bentz won the 400-meter individual medley in a meet record 4:14.97.

The U.S. collected six medals including two gold medals. Seven more meet records were also broken to bring the weeklong total to 39.

Russian Svetlana Chimrova has broken five meet records in all five of her swims.

Davie’s Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago took a silver in the 50-meter butterfly in 23.98. All three medalists were inside a 0.05-second gap.

The meet concludes on Saturday.

Other Florida Gold Coast results:

Dylan Carter, Davie, Trinidad and Tobago, 100-meter freestyle, 5th, 49.93, best time; 50-meter butterfly, 2nd, 23.98.

Renzo Tjon-A-Joe, Davie, Suriname, 100-meter freestyle, 18th, 51.16, best time.

Zu Pigot, Metro Aquatics, Suriname, 100-meter freestyle, 48th, 52.88.

Tyla Martin, Pine Crest, Trinidad and Tobago, 100-meter butterfly, 29th, 1:04.08.

Jordy Groters, Davie, University School, Aruba, 50-meter breaststroke, 29.17, best time

Wayne Denswil, Metro Aquatics, St. Brendan’s, Suriname, 30.67, best time.

Daniela Veloza, Titan Aquatics, Colombia, 1500-meter freestyle, 21st, 18:08.05.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com