Rebecca Smith, 17, won gold at the 6th annual FINA World Junior Championships in Indianapolis on Wednesday. (Submitted photo)

Red Deer’s Rebecca Smith wins gold at World Junior Championships

Rebecca Smith started the World Junior Championships off in golden style.

The Red Deer native who now trains out of Toronto won gold representing Canada on Day 1 of the FINA World Junior Championships in Indianapolis on Wednesday.

Smith teamed up with Kayla Sanchez, Penny Oleksiak, and Taylor Ruck in the women’s 4×200 metre freestyle relay and won the event in record time.

They left the field behind with a blazing time of 7:51.47, nearly six seconds ahead of Russia and faster than any other teenagers in history.

The previous world junior record was 7:56.68, set by the Australians in 2015.

Mabel Zavaros was the fifth member of the team and helped them qualify through morning heats as top seed, will also receive a gold medal.

“We couldn’t have done it without Mabel doing it in the morning as well,” Smith told Swimming Canada. “It was a team effort and we all went pretty fast.”

Smith, 17, swam the third leg for Canada in the final and finished her 200m in a time of 1:58.66.

One of the youngest members of Team Canada at the World Championships earlier this month, Smith is expected to be in contention for several medals over the next six days in Indianapolis.

byron.hackett@reddeeradvocate.com

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