PHOENIX, Arizona, July 16. THE World University Games came to a close today in fine fashion, with many of the members of the Russian world championship team providing the biggest highlights of the day. Vlad Morozov posted two quick swims today, winning the 50 free in a lifetime best 21.67 to move up to fifth in the world rankings, and a 53.99 in the 100 backstroke while leading off the 400 medley relay. Yulia Efimova won the 50 breast in 30.12, moving her once again into striking distance with world leader Ruta Meilutyte. The United States claimed one more gold medal, with this one coming in the men's 400 IM by way of a lifetime best for Michael Weiss. The Wisconsin rising star got the gold with a 4:12.00, a personal best by more than three seconds.
The Russians now have the task of working to make sure they can post those times again at the world championships in less than two weeks, particularly Morozov, Efimova and Danila Izotov, who are now the country's biggest hopes for swimming medals, as well as the men's 400 free relay. The American world championship team was likely keeping track of their swims, and the team of 50 are boarding airplanes today on their trek to Spain for a brief training camp in Bilbao on the north coast of Spain before competition begins on July 28. In a move that differed from last year's Olympics, everyone got to go home for two weeks before regrouping on July 16. Everyone is meeting in Washington, DC, today before boarding one plane together to make the trip across the Atlantic Ocean.
FINA is set to vote tomorrow on an official maximum water temperature for all FINA-sanctioned open water races. A meeting of the FINA Bureau today set that temperature at 31 degrees Celsius, or 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The open water swimming community had been calling for FINA to make such a rule for more than two years, since the death of Fran Crippen during a race in which the water temperature was in the high 80s.
The FINA technical congress meetings begin tomorrow in Barcelona, with diving and open water meetings taking place tomorrow and water polo and synchronized swimming meetings happening Wednesday. The technical congresses for swimming and Masters will take place on July 25, where such rules as underwater dolphin kicking for breaststroke will be decided.