Leila Vaziri

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Leila Vaziri
Leila Vaziri Swimming World Championship 2007.jpg
Vaziri at 2007 world championships
Personal information
Full name Leila Vaziri
Nickname(s) "Lei"
National team  United States
Born (1985-06-06) June 6, 1985 (age 31)
New York, New York
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Backstroke
Club Coral Springs Swim Club
College team Indiana University

Leila Vaziri (Persian: لیلا وزیری‎‎, born June 6, 1985) is an American competition swimmer, the 2007 world champion, and a former world record-holder in the 50-meter backstroke.

Swimming career[edit]

Collegiate career[edit]

Vaziri attended Indiana University, where she majored in communication and culture, and competed for the Indiana Hoosiers swimming and diving team. She was 2005 Big Ten Champion in the 100-yard backstroke and the 2007 NCAA bronze medalist in the 100-yard backstroke. Vaziri earned 15 All-America certificates during her Hoosier career, the most in school history, and was the 2007 Indiana University Female Athlete of the Year.[1]

Leila won the 100-meter backstroke at the US National Championships in 2006, earning a spot at the Pan Pacific Championships in Victoria, British Columbia. After turning in the second-fastest time in the nation, she earning a spot on the U.S. World Championship Team.

Professional Career[edit]

At the 2007 World Aquatics Championships held in Melbourne, Vaziri won a gold medal in the 50-meter backstroke and earned a silver medal by swimming the backstroke leg in the heats of the 4×100-meter medley relay. Going into the final of the 50 m backstroke, Vaziri was the clear favorite for gold. In the heats of the 50 m backstroke, Vaziri broke Natalie Coughlin's Championship record of 28.30 with a time of 28.25 establishing a new American Record.[2] In the semifinals of the 50 m backstroke, she broke Janine Pietsch's world record of 28.19 with a time of 28.16.[3][4] In the final of the 50 m backstroke, she equalled her own world record en route to winning gold.[5][6]

Vaziri came short of making the 2008 USA Olympic Swimming Team when she finished in 7th place in the final of the 100 m backstroke at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.[7]


She has an Iranian father and a mother of German ancestry.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vaziri Wins World Championship, Matches Own World Record, IU Hoosiers website; published 2007-03-29; retrieved 2009-07-13.
  2. ^ "Women's 50 m backstroke results (heats)" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  3. ^ "Women's 50 m backstroke results (semifinals)" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  4. ^ "Vaziri breaks backstroke world record", Pippa Davis, Eurosport, 28 March 2007
  5. ^ "Women's 50 m backstroke results (final)" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  6. ^ American Vaziri equals record to win 50 backstroke gold, Guardian Unlimited, March 29, 2007
  7. ^ "Women's 100 m backstroke results (final)" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  8. ^ "Iranian - American Vaziri Wins World Championship". IranSportsPress. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Janine Pietsch
Women's 50-meter backstroke
world record-holder (long course)

March 28, 2007 – October 19, 2007
Succeeded by
LI Yang