Red Deer’s Kyla Leibel achieved what she set out to do.
The17-year-old qualified for a final in her first Pan American Games, earning a spot Friday in the 50-metre freestyle final.
Leibel ended up just off the podium, tied for fourth with Loranne Ferreira of Brazil at 25.52 seconds. American’s Margo Geer and Madison Kennedy and finished second and third and Brazil’s Etiene Pires de Medeiros won the race in 24.88. That had the Canadian just .64 seconds out of first and .38 behind a spot on the podium.
“I thought it was a really good race for me,” said Leibel, who helped Canada to bronze in the 4X100-m freestyle relay on Tuesday. “I was nervous all day because it was my first individual race but I pulled it together this evening.”
Leibel finished third in her heat with a time of 25.77 to earn a spot in the final.
Last week, she told the Red Deer Advocate that making the 50m final was what she was hoping for.
The swimming competition wraps up Saturday.