DUBAI -- Already dominant at the state and national level, North Hall swimming phenom Paul Powers took a big step on the world stage Thursday, finishing fifth in the boys 50 freestyle at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai.
Powers touched the wall in 22.53 seconds to finish behind winner Luke Percy of Australia (22.11) in the competition being held in the United Arab Emirates.
Powers was the second American to finish the race, as Caeleb Dressel also took third.
The competition, which includes the top swimmers in the world under the age of 18, takes place every two years.
Powers is the Georgia state record holder in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle and helped North Hall to three gold medals at last year's state swim meet.