Rose-Hulman Graduate Matt Smith Provisionally Qualifies for Olympic Games

SmithEINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology graduate Matt Smith has provisionally qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games  in the 100-meter breaststroke after reaching the Olympic qualification time on Monday.

Smith, a 2003 mechanical engineering graduate, surpassed the Olympic qualifying mark of 1:03.72 with his performance of 1:03.29 in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 29th Annual European Swimming Championships.

Smith, who holds dual citizenship in the United States and Estonia, would represent the nation of Estonia at the 2008 Olympics if his qualification time remains the nation's best effort on July 15.  His time currently ranks No. 1 by more than a second over countryman Martin Lilvamagi, who completed the course in a time of 1:04.86, and stands as No. 51 in the world this year.

Smith is also attempting to qualify in the 200-meter breaststroke at the European Swimming Championships.  His career-best time of 2:19.05 is less than a second away from the Olympic qualification standard of 2:18.37.  Smith is the only Estonia native entered in the 200-meter breaststroke and will compete in the event on Thursday.

Smith became Rose-Hulman's first swimming national champion in 2003, claiming NCAA Division III title honors in the 100-yard breaststroke. The four-time All-American finished fifth in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2003, after claiming All-America honors in both events in 2002.

Smith also became the first Academic All-American in swimming program history in 2002. He was also named the 2002 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tri-Swimmer of the Year, won eight individual conference titles and established eight school records.

The swimming competition in the 2008 Olympic Games will be held at the Beijing National Aquatics Centre in China from August 9-16.