Avon’s Madison Kennedy takes bronze in 50 free at world championships

Ranomi Kromowidjojo, center, of the Netherlands won her third short course world title in the 50 free Sunday night. Italy's Silvia diPietro, left, was second and Avon's Madison Kennedy, right, was third. (Photo courtesy FINA via Facebook)

Ranomi Kromowidjojo, center, of the Netherlands won her third short course world title in the 50 free Sunday night. Italy’s Silvia diPietro, left, was second and Avon’s Madison Kennedy, right, was third. (Photo courtesy FINA via Facebook)

AVON, Dec. 11 – Avon swimmer Madison Kennedy won her first individual medal at the FINA short course world championships Sunday night by finishing third in the 50 meter freestyle at the WFCU Center in Windsor, Ontario.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo, a three-time Olympian from the Netherlands, won the 50 free at the short course world championships for the third time with a time of 23.60 seconds. She beat Italian Silvia DiPietro, who was 0.30 of a second behind with a time of 23.90 seconds.

With a strong finish, Kennedy surged in the final 25 meters to take third place with a time of 23.93 seconds — her best time of the meet.

Kennedy, who missed a spot on the U.S. Olympic team last June by 0.15 of a second, beat Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen by 0.07 of a second to win the bronze medal. Ottesen had the fastest time of the year in a short course pool in this event, swimming a 23.58 time in March. Kennedy was just 0.03 of a second behind DiPietro, who finished second.

Every other year, FINA holds the short course world championships in a 25-meter pool. Long course meets, such as the Olympics, are held in 50 meter pools.

Kennedy was 12th in qualifying out of 113 swimmers with a time of 24.49 seconds. In the semifinals, Kennedy finished tied for sixth with a time of 24.18 seconds to earn a spot in the eight-woman final.

Kromowidjojo won the 50 freestyle at the short course world championships in 2014 in Qatar and in 2010. Overall, she has six of the top 10 times in the 50 free in short course events.

American Amanda Weir finished eighth in the finals with a time of 24.48 seconds.

Kennedy and Weir also swam on the United States’ 4×50 meter relay team Sunday in the finals. The Americans finished fourth with a time of 1:35.86, 0.25 of a second behind third place Italy. The United States were third after the first leg and never got any closer. Canada won the race with a time of 1:35.00, followed by Netherlands in 1:35.37.

Weir led off for the Americans and was followed by Kelsi Worrell, Kennedy and Katrina Marie Konopka. Worrell had a team-best time of 23.57 seconds. Kennedy had a time of 24.10 seconds on the third leg of the relay race.

Kennedy finished the meet with two medals. She swam on the United States relay team that captured the women’s 4×100 relay event on the opening night of the event. Weir, Worrell, Kennedy and Mallory Comerford swam on the world championship team. Kennedy finished 12th in the women’s 100 freestyle, advancing to the semifinals.

In 2014, Kennedy won three relay medals at the short course world championship meet in Qatar. She swam on the United States’ winning team in the 4×50 mixed relay and was on the women’s 4×100 freestyle and the women’s 4×50 freestyle relay teams that each finished second. She was fourth in the 50 freestyle in 2014 with a career-best time of 23.86 seconds.

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