Avon’s Madison Kennedy swam in three different international swim meets in 10 days in Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore as part of the FINA (International Swimming Federation) World Cup series. She also swam against some outstanding swimmers such as the world champion Campbell sisters from Australia – Cate and Bronte.
Kennedy finished fourth in the 50-meter freestyle in all three meets – although the finish at the Singapore meet was her qualifying swim because the finals were cancelled that evening due to unhealthy smog.
She was third, fourth and sixth in the 100 freestyle, taking third in Hong Kong. Kennedy also swam in the 50 backstroke, taking seventh, 10th and sixth.
In the 50 and 100 freestyle, Kennedy battled against Australian’s Cate Campbell and her younger sister Bronte, along with Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu.
Hong Kong, Sept. 25-26: Cate Campbell won the 50 freestyle in 24.69 seconds with Bronte taking second in 24.84 seconds. Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen was third in 25.05 with Kennedy fourth with a time of 25.41.
In the 100 freestyle, Cate Campbell, the 2014 world champion, won the race in 53.60 seconds followed by Hosszu (54.42) and Kennedy taking the bronze in 55.14 seconds, about a half second ahead of fellow American Missy Franklin.
Beijing, China, Sept. 29-30: At the next meet at the National Aquatics Center’s Water Cube, Kennedy took fourth in the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.08 seconds. Cate Campbell won again in 24.30 seconds with Bronte second in 24.53 seconds. China’s Menghui Zhuchin was third in 25.0 seconds. There were 36 swimmers in the event.
In the 100 freestyle, Cate Campbell won in 52.96 seconds followed by Bronte Campbell in 52.98 seconds. American Missy Franklin was third (54.39) while Kennedy was sixth (55.36). In the 50 backstroke, Kennedy had best time of the trip, taking tenth with a 29.34 second time.
Singapore, Oct. 3-4: Smog and smoke from raging fires in Indonesia cancelled the finals on day one of the meet in Singapore at the OCBC Aquatic Center – an outdoor pool. Any reading of the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) over 100 classifies the air as unhealthy. Race organizers cancelled the men’s 1,500 meter and women’s 800 meter races before the meet began to help protect the athletes.
Smog has been a problem in southeast Asia for years due to the burning of forests in Indonesia by farmers to clear their land for agriculture.
A morning sessions was held on day one of the meet. In the 50 freestyle, Kennedy was seeded fourth in the final after her time of 25.31 seconds. Cate Campbell had the top seed (24.88) with Bronte Campbell second (25.14). Published reports had a PSI of 222 at 5 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Medals were awarded based on qualifying times. Kennedy was seeded sixth in the 50 backstoke with a time of 29.41 seconds.
The swimmers were able to compete on Sunday with Kennedy earning the fourth seed in the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.81 seconds. She ended up fourth in the race that was won by Cate Campbell (53.09) with Bronte Campbell (53.58) taking second and Hosszu (53.58) taking third.