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Avon’s Kennedy earns second world championship gold medal in 4×100 relay

From left, the American team of Amanda Weir, Kelsi Worrell, Madison Kennedy and Mallory Comerford won a gold meal in the 4x100 meter women’s freestyle relay Tuesday night in Windsor at the FINA World Championships (25m). (DeepBlue Media photo courtesy FINA via Facebook)

From left, the American team of Amanda Weir, Kelsi Worrell, Madison Kennedy and Mallory Comerford won a gold meal in the 4×100 meter women’s freestyle relay Tuesday night in Windsor at the FINA World Championships (25m). (Deepblue Media photo courtesy FINA via Facebook)

AVON, Dec. 7 — Avon swimmer Madison Kennedy has earned her second world championship medal.

Kennedy swam for the United States Tuesday night on the winning 4×100 women’s freestyle relay earn at the FINA World Championships (25m). The Americans won a gold medal with a winning time of 3:28.82 at the WFCU Centre here in Windsor and the Canadian province of Ontario.

Kennedy, 28, won a world title on an American 4×50 mixed freestyle relay team at the 2014 FINA World Championships (25m) in Qatar. She also won two silver medals on relays and was fourth in the 50 freestyle in 2014 at the short course world championship meet.

These world championships are known as short course races because competition is held in a pool that is 25 meters long. The short course world championships are held every two years. Long course races, such as the Olympic Games, are held in pools that are 50 meters long.

Amanda Weir led off for the United States in the finals before Olympic gold medalist Kelsi Worrell put the Americans into first place with the fastest split time in the finals (51.04 seconds). Kennedy swam third and cut 0.60 off her time from qualifying and kept the Americans in first place. Kennedy swam her leg in 52.84. Mallory Comerford swam the anchor leg.

Host Canada finished second just 0.77 behind the Americans but the Canadians were disqualified because they swam the relay out of order. Italy moved up to second, 1.46 seconds behind the United States.

Kennedy was the only American swimmer in the 4×100 relay to swim in the qualifying round when the Americans finished seventh out of 12 teams with a time of 3:34.98. Katrina Konopka, Katie Drabot and Alexandra deLoof swam in qualifying. Kennedy swam the third leg in qualifying, too.

Kennedy swam in the 100 meters on Wednesday and finished 12th with a time of 53.24. She was 16th in qualifying with a time of 53.73 seconds and earned a spot in one of the two semifinal heats on Wednesday evening.

In the semifinal, Kennedy was 0.30 of a second away from qualifying. The top eight swimmers from the two semifinal races earned a spot in Thursday’s championship swim. No Americans qualified for the final. U.S. teammate Amanda Weir was 10th overall in 53.10 seconds.

Kennedy is scheduled to swim again on Saturday in the 50 freestyle – her best event. She is seeded fourth in the event. Kennedy finished third in last July’s U.S. Olympic trials, just 0.15 of a second away from qualifying for the Olympic Games and the U.S. team.

Cable television network NBCSN will have tape delayed coverage of Saturday’s world championship competition on Saturday night from 9:30 to 11 p.m., EST.

Kennedy graduated from Avon High in 2005 and the University of California-Berkley in 2010. She has been training with SwimMAC in Charlotte, North Carolina since November 2011.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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