KAZAN, Russia, July 12. THE Russian fans are definitely being provided strong times to cheer for from their home team as some brilliant swims went up on the scoreboard this evening at the World University Games.
Courtesy of: Mitchell Gunn-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of: Mitchell Gunn-USA TODAY Sports
Men's 1500 free
Michigan continues to produce amazing distance swimmers. While Connor Jaeger has earned the bulk of the coverage as the distance ace for the Wolverines, his training partner Sean Ryan blasted right through the 15:00 barrier in the men's metric mile for gold tonight.
Ryan wrapped up a sterling time of 14:57.33, beating his lifetime best of 15:01.43 from the 2011 U.S. Nationals by several seconds, and shooting him to fifth in the world rankings in a competitive field of milers. Sun Yang (14:48.10), Jordan Harrison (14:51.02), Jaeger (14:53.34) and Gregorio Paltrinieri (14:55.10) are the only men to have swum faster than Ryan this year. He actually clipped the time Michael McBroom used to make the World Championship squad of 14:59.12.
Japan's Kohei Yamamoto nearly broke the 15:00 mark as well with a second-place effort of 15:00.15 to move to 10th in the world rankings. He held off Ukraine's Sergii Frolov, who held tough with Yamamoto throughout the bulk of the swim before fading to third in 15:02.63.
Canada's Eric Hedlin (15:11.33), Russia's Evgeny Kulikov (15:14.58), USA's Ryan Feeley (15:20.75), Italy's Andrew Meegan (15:24.65) and Italy's Luca Baggio (15:33.43) comprised the rest of the championship finale in the deep metric mile field.
Men's 200 free
Russia's Danila Izotov threw down a remarkable gauntlet heading into the World Championships as he blasted a time of 1:45.48 to win the event going away. That swim squashed his semifinal meet record of 1:47.03, and skyrocketed him to second in the world in a tie with Yannick Agnel's time from French Nationals. Only Sun Yang has been faster with a 1:44.99 Izotov could be looking at a special swim in Barcelona, potentially rivaling his Russian record of 1:43.90 from the 2009 World Championships.
The fans in attendance had a lot to cheer for in this event, as Nikita Lobintsev raced into second with a 1:46.30 for a host nation 1-2. Lobintsev bettered his 10th-ranked time of 1:46.59 from Russian Nationals. Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski charged onto the podium with a third-place time of 1:46.91.
USA's Michael Wynalda (1:47.65), Australia's Ryan Napoleon (1:48.39), Japan's Fumiya Hidaka (1:48.82), Paraguay's Ben Hockin (1:48.88) and France's Simon Guerin (1:49.38) turned in the rest of the finishes in the finale.
Women's 100 breast
In another Russian victory that pleased the Kazan crowd, Yuliya Efimova obliterated her meet record in the event with a 1:05.48 for the win. That swim crushed her 1:07.10 from yesterday, and vaulted her to second in the world rankings behind only Ruta Meilutyte (1:05.20) this year. Efimova definitely is looking a medal contention heading into the FINA World Championships in Barcelona in a few weeks.
Ireland's Fiona Doyle dropped her Irish record with a second-place time of 1:07.66. That swim eclipsed her 1:08.23 from the Irish Championships in April. USA's Laura Sogar picked up an international medal with a bronze-winning time of 1:07.78.
Canada's Tera Van Beilen (1:08.03), Italy's Giulia De Ascentis (1:08.40), Japan's Mio Motegi (1:08.54), South Korea's Suyeon Back (1:09.18) and Ukraine's Mariia Liver (1:09.47) also vied for the Universiade gold medal.
Women's 100 free
Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, cruised to victory in the women's 100-meter free with a sizzling time of 53.50. That swim smashed the meet record of 54.24 set by Tang Yi back in 2011 and moved her up to third in the world rankings this year. Only Cate Campbell (52.83) and Missy Franklin (53.43) have been faster with Herasimenia putting herself in position for yet another international meet medal.
Russia's Veronika Popova checked in with a 54.12 for second, also surpassing the meet mark, while USA's Megan Romano couldn't replicate her relay anchor of 52.90 with a third-place time of 54.45 to take bronze.
Canada's Sandrine Mainville (54.87), Russia's Margarita Nesterova (55.01), Australia's Melissa Mitchell (55.35), Great Britain's Rebecca Turner (55.46) and Japan's Miya Sumiyoshi (55.69) snared the rest of the championship finishes.
Men's 200 IM
Australia's Justi James backhalfed his way to victory in the medley event with a time of 1:58.35. He fell less than a second off the meet record of 1:57.58 set by USA's Alex Vanderkaay back in 2009, but had a strong enough swim to earn gold.
Japan kept on rolling in the hardware with a 2-3 finish as Hiromasa Fujimori (1:58.76) and Takahiro Tsutsumi (1:59.54) also cleared 2:00 to take second and third in the finale.
USA's Kyle Whitaker finished fourth in 2:00.42 as part of a difficult double that included a 200 fly. Russia's Dmitry Zhilin (2:01.13), Australia's Daniel Lester (2:01.20), Russia's Dmitrii Gorbunov (2:01.67) and France's Ganesh Pedurand (2:02.18) also competed in the finale.
Men's 200 breast
Russia's Viatcheslav Sinkevich, who already ranks fourth in the world with a smoking 2:08.62 from Russian Nationals earlier this year, threw down an effortless 2:10.88 to win the first semifinal of the men's 200-meter breaststroke and to easily capture the top seed heading into the finale tomorrow.
Japan's Yukihiro Takahashi topped the second semifinal with a time of 2:11.49, while USA's Cody Miller turned in a 2:12.11 for third heading into the finale. Miller nearly popped a lifetime best with the swim, just short of his 2:11.72 from last summer's U.S. Open. He should have more in the tank heading into tomorrow night.
Russia's Marat Amaltdinov (2:12.28), Italy's Flavio Bizzarri (2:12.37), Japan's Kazuki Kohinata (2:12.78), Italy's Luca Pizzini (2:12.82) and USA's Mike Alexandrov (2:12.89) also made the finale.
Women's 200 IM
Russia's Viktoriya Andreeva put the meet record on notice with a top time of 2:12.88 in the semifinal heats. That swim fell less than a second off Ava Ohlgren's 2009 mark of 2:12.07 from the Belgrade edition of the meet.
Andreeva will have some company as USA's Melanie Margalis (2:13.32) and Sarah Henry (2:14.01) placed second and third behind her in both the second semifinal as well as heading into the championship finale.
Japan's Sakiko Shimizu won the first semifinal with a 2:14.18, while Russia's Darya Belyakina raced to fifth overall in 2:14.72. Poland's Alicja Tchorz (2:15.37), Canada's Paige Schultz (2:15.54) and Australia's Aisling Scott (2:15.57) comprised the rest of the top eight finishers heading into the championship finale.
Men's 200 fly
Hungary's Bence Biczo topped the second semifinal with a 1:57.83, but will likely have plenty of company in the finale as no single swimmer really stood out in the semifinal heats. Japan's Kenta Hirai (1:58.19) and Yuta Kimura (1:58.46) finished second and third behind Biczo in both the second semi and overall.
Spain's Carlos Peralta Gallego led the first semi with a fourth-seeded 1:58.47, while Greece's Stefanos Dimtriadis (1:58.74) and USA's Michael Flach (1:58.77) also cleared 1:59 to qualify fifth and sixth.
USA's Kyle Whitaker (1:59.15) and Canada's Zack Chetrat (1:59.44) earned the final two transfer spots into the championship heat tomorrow night.
Women's 100 back
Australia's Madison White and Russia's Anastasia Zueva nearly cleared the meet record in the event with a 1-2 finish. USA's Jenny Connolly still holds the mark with a 1:00.21 from 2011, but White (1:00.42) and Zueva (1:00.55) will definitely be making a run at the record tomorrow.
Wilson had a remarkable first 50 with a 29.26 on the way out, while Zueva managed to some home in 30.53 as the two had the best first and second 50s of the semifinal heats.
Australia's Hayle White topped the first semifinal with a 1:01.18 to rank third in the finale, while Ukraine's Daryna Zevina touched fourth in 1:01.21. USA's Megan Romano (1:01.22), Russia's Maria Gromova (1:01.74), USA's Cindy Tran (1:01.85) and Hong Kong's Stephanie Au (1:01.91) all cleared 1:02 to make the finale.
Men's 50 back
The Sizzling Siberian just missed his ninth-ranked season best of 24.80 in the men's sprint backstroke event as Vlad Morozov touched in 24.88 to lead all qualifying. Italy's Stefano Pizzamiglio celebrated a second-place time of 24.96 after clearing 25 seconds.
Australia's Ben Treffers made it a trio of swimmers under 25 seconds with a third-seeded time of 24.98, while Italy's Niccolo Bonacchi finished fourth overall in 25.05.
Israel's Guy Barnea (25.32), Japan's Junya Hasegawa (25.43), Australia's Daniel Arnamnart (25.46) and Russia's Vitalii Melnikov (25.49) will be chasing Morozov in the finale.
Results: World University Games: Day Three Finals