Kieran Smith, of Ridgefield, is on his way to his first Olympics.
Competing in the 400 freestyle event in the U.S. swimming trials in Omaha, Nebraska Sunday, Smith swam a personal best 3:44:86. That time was nearly three seconds better than his previous best and was enough to qualify him for a spot on the Olympic team headed to Tokyo next month.
Smith's Olympic debut will also mark the first time he's on the national team.
He knows he'll need to go even faster to have a shot at a medal — especially against a powerful Australian squad.
Defending Olympic champion Mack Horton posted a faster time than Smith at his country's trials, and it wasn't even good enough to make the Aussie team.
“I'm really excited with that swim,” said Smith, whose previous best was 3:47.71. “I look forward to hopefully improving on that swim and being competitive with the rest of the world.”
No one else in the eight-man final went fast enough to meet the qualifying time for Tokyo.
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Smith is a graduate of Ridgefield High School and swims out of the Ridgefield Aquatic Club.