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2016 Olympics: UVA’s Leah Smith wins gold medal in 4x200 freestyle relay with Team USA

Smith takes home her second medal of the games...and this one’s gold!

Olympics: Swimming-Evening Session David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports

Rising fourth-year Leah Smith won a gold medal in tonight’s 4x200m freestyle relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She and teammates Katie Ledecky, Allison Schmitt, and Maya DiRado finished the race in 7:43.03, 1.84 seconds ahead of silver medalist Australia. The medal is Smith’s second of the games, after she took home bronze in the 400m freestyle.

Swimming the second leg, Smith was key in keeping the US close to Australia and China, who both led at points during the race. With swimming robot Katie Ledecky swimming anchor, a .9 second deficit for the Americans after three legs put them in position for an easy win.

The 800m freestyle will provide Smith with one more chance to medal. Her qualifying heat (#4) is Thursday at 1:02 PM - she’ll swim in the lane next to Ledecky - and the final is Friday evening at 9:20 PM. No surprise, she is the reigning ACC champion in the event.