PHOENIX, Arizona, August 15. THE swimming portion of the World University Games kicked off on Sunday with some recognizable names taking gold medals.
Ryosuke Irie, the bronze medalist in the 200 back at the world championships, won that event easily on Sunday in Shengzen, China, with a 1:56.01. That's two seconds slower than what he swam at worlds, but he wasn't pushed in Sunday's race, winning by two seconds over Rex Tulius of the United States and Gareth Kean of New Zealand.
Bobby Bollier won the silver medal in the 200 fly in a close battle with Hungary's Laszlo Cseh. Cseh, the reigning Olympic silver medalist in the event, touched in 1:55.87 to Bollier's 1:56.06. Japan's Hidemasa Sano also got under 1:57 with a bronze medal time of 1:56.81.
But probably the most exciting race of the first night at the meet was a tie for gold in the men's 200 breaststroke. New Zealand's Glenn Snyders and Lithuania's Giedrius Titenis both finished in 2:10.85, with Japan's Kazuki Otsuka just a tenth behind in 2:10.96.
New Zealand is so far the country to watch at the world university games, with four gold medals so far. Lauren Boyle was responsible for two of those golds, winning the 800 free in 8:26.30 on Sunday and the 400 free today in 4:07.78. Boyle, who is a Cal Bear, swam a best time to win the 800.
After earning bronze in the 200 back, Gareth Kean gave New Zealand gold medal number four in the 100 back with a winning time of 54.71.
The United States didn't win any golds on the first day, but made up for it with three wins on day two. Tim Phillips took the gold in the men's 50 fly, while Michael Kleuh won the 800 free. And the relay team of Jimmy Feigen, Phillips, Kohlton Norys and Bobby Savulich took the men's 400 free relay with a 3:15.84.
Italy won both gold medals in the open water competition, with Simone Ruffini winning the men's 10K and Rachele Bruni taking the women's race.
You can read our coverage of the World University Games by going to our world news channel at swimmingworld.com.
On Saturday, London held a test event on the course to be used for the Olympic 10K open water competition. Most of the world's best open water swimmers came to try out the venue, and a surprise winner emerged at the end of the men's race. Canada's Richard Weinberger, who placed 17th in the 10K world championship race, won on Saturday in one hour, 50 minutes and 49 seconds. Open water legend Thomas Lurz, who finished second at worlds in the 10K, was 26 seconds behind Weinberger, with reigning world champion Spyros Gianniotis taking third. On the women's side, world silver medalist Martina Grimaldi won the event in two hours and two minutes, with American Eva Fabian just a half second behind her and Poliana Okimoto another second behind Fabian. Many of the people in the race have already earned automatic qualifying spots in the Olympic race, and those who have not, such as Weinberger and Fabian, will have to qualify at next year's race in Portugal.
Several notable names won titles at the USA diving summer nationals. Nick McCrory was able to defeat reigning world silver medalist David Boudia on the 10-meter, capturing the gold by 27 points over Boudia. Troy Dumais, who had won more than 30 national titles in the three-meter individual event, wound up third in that event last week, with synchro partner Kristian Ipsen winning the gold medal and getting congratulations on the medal stand by Greg Louganis. Brittany Viola, who placed tenth at worlds in the 10-meter competition, won that event by 42 points at nationals.
Several world records were broken last week at the Pan Pacific Paraswimming championships. Jessica Long was responsible for four of those records in the 200 IM, 100 free, 100 fly and 400 free. Mallory Weggemann, who is Swimming World's reigning female disability swimmer of the year, set a world record as well in the 100 backstroke and an American record in the 50 fly. Australia's Blake Cochrane also earned a world record in the men's 100 breaststroke.
And finally, swimmers Simon Burnett and Whitney Myers were married on Saturday. The two had been dating since attending school together at the University of Arizona, where both excelled on the collegiate and international stage. Both are still competing, with Burnett representing Great Britain recently at the world championships. Swimming World would like to congratulate the two on their wedding and wish them all the best in their new life together.