Young Christchurch swimmer Gabriella Smith has kicked off the Kiwi campaign with a bang at the 2023 Para Swimming World Championships in Manchester overnight.
The only New Zealander in action on day one of the championships gave her teammates something to cheer about. Competing in the 100m Breaststroke SB9, Smith swum a PB of 1:20.97s in her heat to qualify for the final.
The 17-year-old then went one better in her final, swimming another PB of 1:20.11s to place seventh in the world.
“I felt really good going out in the first 50m in the final,” said Smith. “I lost it a bit in the second 50, but a PB is still a PB and I’m super stoked with it.
“This competition has been something that I have really been working hard towards at home and in the past few weeks at camp, so it means a lot that the results are a reflection of the work.”
Smith will be back in the pool overnight NZT, contesting the 200m Individual Medley (SM10).
She’s joined by teammates Cameron Leslie, who’s contesting the 100m Freestyle (S4), and Tupou Neiufi who’ll be contesting the 100m Backstroke (S8).
Coverage of the 2023 Para Swimming World Championships is available on TVNZ+.
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