Rebecca Smith, 17, was named the Red Deer Advocate’s 2016 female athlete of the year. (Submitted photo)

Rebecca Smith swims personal best time at FINA World Championships

Smith will also compete in two more events this week at the World Championships

Red Deer’s own Rebecca Smith is living out a lifelong swimming dream in Budapest.

The teenager is representing Canada on the world stage at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championships.

At 17, Smith is one of the youngest members of the team and swam on the 4×100 metre freestyle relay team in Sunday’s heats. The team finished second in their heat, fifth overall and qualified for the final. Smith swam the third leg, and finished her 100m portion in 53.95, a personal best time.

In the final, Smith didn’t swim but her team finished fourth, just out of the medals.

Smith also found out after that race she’ll compete twice more at the event. Her next race will be the butterfly leg of the 4x100m mixed medley relay. The mixed medley is two male and two female swimmers, each swimming one of the four strokes.

She is also set to compete in the 4x200m freestyle relay later this week.

While Smith is competing mostly in relay events in Budapest, later this summer in Indianapolis at the FINA World Junior Championships, she’ll swim in a bevy of individual races.

In April at the 2017 Canadian Swimming Trials in Victoria, Smith qualified for her first senior national team with a fourth-place finish in the 200m freestyle.

She also earned a bronze medal in the 100m butterfly in personal best time.

byron.hackett@reddeeradvocate.com

See Canadian sets world record in backstroke – Page 21

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