KAZAN, Russia, July 11. The team from Japan put on a show this evening at the World University Games with several gold medals being added to its coffers following the second night of action. Meanwhile, another handful of Universiade records took a tumble.
Courtesy of: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Men's 50 fly
It was .01 slower than his semifinal time that shot him to an eighth-ranked tie in the world rankings, but Ukraine's Andrey Govorov will take the 23.28 that won him gold this evening in the men's sprint fly this evening. However, He also had to share the top of the podium as Belarus' Yauhen Tsurkin managed to deadheat Govorov for gold with a 23.28 of his own. That effort pushed him to 10th in the world this year.
While initial indications had Govorov potentially making a run at the University Games record of 23.09 set by Jason Dunford in 2009, Govorov and Tsurkin looked to be focused on the race and not the time this evening.
Italy's Piero Codia rounded out the podium with a third-place effort of 23.38, while Canada's Kelly Aspinall finished fourth in 23.52.
Russia's Nikita Konovalov (23.65), Russia's Evgeny Koptelov (23.70), Croatia's Mario Todorovic (23.96) and Canada's Coleman Carl Allen (24.28) rounded out the championship heat.
Men's 100 back
Japan's Yuki Shirai and Australia's Ben Treffers nearly cracked the top 10 in the world in the dorsal event as the two nearly produced a second straight gold-medal tie this evening.
Shirai went out hard in 26.16 with Treffers at 26.21 at the wall. At about the 75-meter mark, Treffers began making a charge before Shirai turned on the afterburners down the final 10 meters to snatch the gold medal with a 53.70. Treffers, meanwhile, wound up second with a 53.76. Those times just missed the top 10 in the world currently anchored by Camille Lacourt's 53.65 from French Nationals.
USA's Jacob Pebley raced his way to a bronze medal with a time of 54.11, while Russia's Vitalii Melnikov (54.14) and Vitaly Borisov (54.51) placed fourth and fifth in the finale.
Japan's Kuninori Tada (54.74), Australia's Daniel Arnamnart (54.85) and Germany's Jan-Philip Glania (55.00) completed the championship finale this evening.
Women's 50 fly
Belarusian Olympian Aliaksandra Herasimenia put on the jets under the flags to capture the sprint fly title with a sizzling time of 25.84. That effort vaulted her to fifth in the world rankings behind only Jeanette Ottesen (25.56), Alicia Coutts (25.78), Ranomi Kromowidjojo (25.80) and Sarah Sjostrom (25.83) are the only swimmers to have gone faster this year.
Herasimenia clipped the previous meet record of 25.97 held by Herasimania's compatriot Sviatlana Khakhlova since 2009. Canada's Katerine Savard lowered her Canadian record again with a swift 26.05. Not only did she jump to eighth in the world with the performance, she downed her national record of 26.20 from last month.
Italy picked up a pair of bronze medals as Elena Gemo and Silvia Di Pietro posted matching times of 26.28 for third-place honors.
Australia's Holly Barratt (26.44), Russia's Darya Tsvetkova (26.52), France's Anna Santamans (26.82) and Canada's Sandrine Mainville (26.85) turned in the rest of the championship finale finishes.
Men's 100 breast
Japan's Yasuhiro Koseki powered past USA's Mike Alexandrov for the gold medal in the event, just missing breaking the magical 1:00 barrier in the men's 100-meter breaststroke.
Koseki, who was third at the turn with a 28.30 split, powered home in 31.70 to finish with 1:00.00 on the nose for the win. He produced a mixed bag of emotions after the swim. First, obviously happy with the victory before the realization set in that he missed dipping under the 1:00 barrier. The swim shot him to a fifth-ranked tie with Brenton Rickard in the world rankings. Christian Sprenger (59.05), Fabio Scozzoli (59.77), Ross Murdoch (59.80), and Kevin Cordes (59.99) are the only swimmers faster this year.
Alexandrov, a grizzled veteran on the international team scene having represented both Bulgaria and the United States internationally for more than a decade, placed second in 1:00.30. Italy's Edoardo Giorgetti placed third in 1:00.36.
Russia's Kirill Strelnikov (1:00.48), Russia's Viatcheslav (1:00.72), Italy's Andrea Toniato (1:00.93), USA's Cody Miller (1:01.17) and Canada's Richard Funk (1:01.35) placed fourth through eighth in the finale.
Women's 200 back
Australia's Madison Wilson upset the heavily-favored Daryna Zevina of Ukraine in the women's 200-meter back with a winning time of 2:09.22. That outing jumped Wilson to 10th in the world, knocking Hilary Caldwell (2:09.31) out of the top 10 with the swim.
Zevina, who went out pretty slow, turning third at the 150 with a 1:36.67, wound up second in 2:09.41. She's been a bit faster this year, ranked eighth in the world with a 2:09.05 from the Mare Nostrum circuit, but didn't hit on all cylinders this evening to pick up the gold. The finish definitely sucked the life out of the hometown crowd.
Australia's Hayle White went out hard with a 1:35.45 at the 150, then held on to earn bronze with a time of 2:09.84. Japan's Marie Kamimura picked up fourth-place honors in 2:11.71.
Canada's Genevieve Cantin (2:11.78), Russia's Maria Gromovoa (2:12.13), USA's Kendyl Stewart (2:12.19) and USA's Ellen Williamson (2:13.28) rounded out the top eight.
Women's 100 free
With the top-flight swimmers all shutting it down a bit in semis, the times weren't stunning out of the women's 100-meter free. However, plenty of some seriously strong swimmers made their way into the finale for tomorrow night and Tang Yi's meet record of 54.24 from 2011 is certainly on notice.
Russia's Veronika Popova led the way in the second semifinal for the top time heading into finals with a 54.46, while USA's sprint free stalwart Megan Romano popped a second-seeded time of 54.68 just a day after turning in a jaw-dropping 52.90 anchor leg for Team USA's women's 400-meter freestyle relay last night. Look for Romano to push the pace much harder in the finale.
Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia, another top-tier talent in the sprint freestyle events, checked in with a 54.85 for the third seed, while Canada's Sandrine Mainville went out hard with a 26.32 at the 50 to lead semi two halfway before winding up with a fourth-seeded time of 54.92 to round out the sub 55 second performances.
Australia's Melissa Mitchell (55.27), Russia's Margarita Nesterova (55.35), Japan's Mari Sumiyoshi (55.70) and Great Britain's Rebecca Turner (55.79) comprised the rest of the championship finalists to line up for the title tomorrow night.
Women's 100 breast
Russian Olympian Yuliya Efimova put on a show down the stretch as she blazed her way to a meet record in the event. Efimova, who turned seventh at the 50-meter mark in 32.93, threw down a remarkable 34.17 down the final stretch with a winning time of 1:07.10. That performance clipped the 1:07.15 set by Italy's Chiara Boggiatto back in 2009, and bettered Efimova's season best of 1:07.24 from the TYR Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions. Efimova still remains sixth in the world, behind Jennie Johansson's 1:06.68 from Australian Nationals.
Team USA's Laura Sogar dropped a 1:07.78 in the second semifinal with a time of 1:07.78 to move into the finale beside Efimova. Italy's Giulia De Ascentis (1:08.20) and Ireland's Fiona Doyle (1:08.43) turned in third and fourth-seeded times out of the semifinal heats.
Japan's Mio Motegi (1:08.51), Canada's Tera Van Beilen (1:08.54), Ukraine's Mariia Liver (1:09.11) and South Korea's Suyeon Back (1:09.20) also made the championship finale.
Men's 200 IM
Japan's Hiromasa Fujimori demolished the first semifinal, winning by several seconds, with a 1:59.28 for the top-seeded time out of semis. The swim puts him in line to potentially make a run at Alex Vanderkaay's meet record of 1:57.58 from the 2009 edition of the World University Games.
In a much closer heat, Australia's James Justi (2:00.00), USA's Kyle Whitaker (2:00.03), Japan's Takahiro Tsutsumi (2:00.59) and Australia's Daniel Lester (2:01.30) picked up the second through fifth seeds in the second semi. France's Ganesh Pedurand tied with Russia's Dmitrii Gorbunov for the sixth seed with matching times of 2:01.64s. Russia's Dmitry Zhilin completed the top eight with a time of 2:02.24.
Men's 200 free
The Russian crowd had a bit of a boost this evening during the men's 200-meter free semis as the top two Russians knocked down the meet record in succession. Nikita Lobintsev first raced to a 1:47.20 in semifinal one to clear the 2007 Universiade standard of 1:47.42 set by USA's Adam Ritter. Danila Izotov then fired up a 1:47.03 in the second semifinal to finish the night with the record.
The two Russians are heavy favorites heading into the finale as both stand ninth and 10th in the world with their respective times (Izotov, 1:46.37; Lobintsev, 1:46.59) from Russian Nationals earlier this year in Kazan. The duo will be looking to climb even higher up the rankings by the end of the finale tomorrow night.
USA's Michael Wynalda (1:47.59), Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski (1:47.79), Australia's Ryan Napoleon (1;48.52), Paraguay's Ben Hockin (1:49.01), Japan's Fumiya Hidaka (1:49.02) and France's Simon Guerin (1:49.05) supplied the rest of the championship qualifying swims out of semis.
Results: World University Games: Day Two Finals