PHOENIX, Arizona, June 6. CHINA made the most of its surprising defeat of the United States in the semifinals of the FINA world league tournament by beating Russia in the gold medal match 8-7. This marked China's first gold medal in international women's water polo competition after the country earned silver at the 2011 world championships. Certainly having the home crowd advantage had its perks, as China built a 3-1 lead after the first quarter and never allowed Russia to get within one point of them. The United States won the bronze medal match over Hungary 10-9. Hungary was up 5-3 at the half, with a late surge by the United States in the third quarter to help take the lead and never relinquish it.
The names of student-athletes on the Capital One Academic All-America rosters across all collegiate divisions has been rolling out all week, and the last list was released today with the news that Elizabeth Beisel was named the female Academic All-American of the year in the Division I category by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Beisel of course has been doing well in the pool, winning the NCAA title in the 400 IM last March, but she's also performing well in the classroom, maintaining a 3.6 GPA as a telecommunications major. Three other swimmers were named Academic All-Americans in their divisions as well. Mark Rubin and Julie Widmann were the Division II winners, while Kenyon's Curtis Ramsey was the All-American of the Year in Division III. You can see the full list of All-American honorees in aquatic sports on our college channel at swimmingworld.com.
The world is mourning the passing of screen legend Esther Williams today. Williams is known throughout the world as a dazzling screen beauty from the spectacular water carnivals of the 1940s and 1950s, including more than 20 films. Her display of grace and beauty in her water shows and on film helped show young girls that swimming was a viable sport, and as synchronized swimming became an Olympic sport, Williams was a popular icon for the event's debut at the 1984 Olympics. Williams was 91 years old.
The Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions begins this afternoon in Mission Viejo, California. As usual, the meet brings out the best swimmers in southern California, including hometown girl Chloe Sutton, who will be taking some final racing preparations before the USA world championship trials. She's swimming against Canadian Alexa Kormarnycky today in the women's 800 freestyle. Ryan Cochrane didn't swim the 1500 freestyle last week in Santa Clara, but he's set to race it today, and he could face a challenge from Australian teenager Mack Horton, who won the mile last week in Santa Clara. Several swimmers from the University of Southern California and UC-Berkeley will be racing in Mission Viejo as well, but one person we won't see is Vlad Morozov, who apparently has decided to stay in Los Angeles to continue training for the world championships. We'll bring you full recaps of each night of competition from Mission Viejo on swimmingworld.com.