BEIJING, Aug 29. THE US men won two gold while Japan won all three women's events on the final day of competition at the World University Games in Beijing.
The US men took the medley relay in a Games record
3:39.49. Peter Marshall led off the relay with a 54.84, followed by breaststroker David Denniston with a 1:01.96 and butterflier Andy Haidinyak's with a 53.42.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's Andrei Serdinov closed the gap in the fly leg as Team USA held on to a .46 second lead. But Scott VonSchoff anchored in 49.27 to secure the win for the Americans by nearly a second.
The gold assured that the U.S. stayed on top of the men's gold count, with seven gold medals and 17 total medals to Ukraine's five golds and ten overall medals.
The gold medal by Peter Marshall was his third of the Games, the most by any swimmer.
"I would have to say that winning the individual golds was great, and I'm very happy with my swims," said Marshall, "but getting to win one with your teammates and swim like we did, was even better. We cheer each other on and push each other to swim better."
Their record broke the USA's old record of 3:41.95 from 1997 (Bobby Brewer, Kevin Kling, Steve Martyak, Bryan Jones).
For the sixth time this meet, Team USA put two swimmers on the medal stand in the same event. Clay Kirkland, swimming to a personal-best 1:50.03 (54.47), won gold in the 200m freestyle, with teammate Dan Ketchum, just off his best mark with a 1:50.59 (54.06), taking bronze. Italy's Matteo Pelliciari won the silver.
"It was my goal to win a gold medal here, and I'm excited to have done so," said Kirkland. "I know that if I go out too fast on that first hundred, I won't be able to hold on, so it's my strategy to go out conservatively and then really turn it on the last 100. It worked for me since I posted my best time ever. I will be training at Auburn for the next four years and aiming to make some teams and then hopefully make the Olympic squad in 2004."
Ketchum, who won his second medal of the Games, agreed. "I plan to stay training at Michigan and improving my times, and hopefully I can make some more International teams."
The other bright spot for the Americans was John Cole's 15:23.31 swim to take bronze in the 1500m free. The Ukraine's Igor Chervynskiy posted a 15:14.43 to take gold, with Italy's Luca Baldini in second, swimming a 15:16.14. Cole's time was three seconds faster than his personal best. His teammate, Brendan Neligan, posted a 15:46.87 for 11th-place.
Japan had a tremendous night, winning all three gold medals in the women's events. In contrast, the American women suffered a disappointing night, collecting no medals despite having a swimmer in each final.
In the 200 back, Japan went one-two with Reiko Nakamura winning in 2:11.88, ahead of teammate Tomoko Hagiwara. The USA's Lindsay Carlberg (2:17.24, 1:07.08 split) and Corrie Murphy (2:19.39, 1:08.28 split) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
Yuko Sakaguchi scored her first-ever international win when she took the 200 breast in 2:29.64, a second ahead of Germany's (and University of Alabama's) Anne Poleska. The USA's Tara Kirk -after a very long meet in which she swam four events in all prelims, semis and finals – swam a 2:33.94 (1:14.32) to finish sixth. Kirk gets to enjoy four days off before resuming training with her Stanford team.
Yuko Nakanishi took the 200 fly in a swift 2:09.84, beating Russia's Elena Vinogradova to the wall by over a second. The USA's Rebecca Harper lowered her personal best by nearly a half-second, but finished fifth in 2:12.64 (1:04.07).
1,500 meter freestyle
1. Igor Chervynskiy (UKR) 15:14.43
2. Luca Baldini (ITA) 15:16.14
3. John Cole (USA) 15:23.31
200 meter freestyle
1. Clay Kirkland (USA) 1:50.03
2. Matteo Pelliciari (ITA) 1:50.21
3. Dan Ketchum (USA) 1:50.59
4×100 meter medley relay
1. USA 3:39.49
2. Ukraine 3:40.44
3. France 3:41.20
200 meter backstroke
1. Reiko Nakamura (JPN) 2:11.88
2. Tomoko Nagiwara (JPN) 2:13.26
3. Roxana Maracineanu (FRA) 2:15.42
200 meter breaststroke
1. Yuko Sakaguchi (JPN) 2:29.64
2. Anne Poleska (GER) 2:30.67
3. Zhang Yi (CHN) 2:32.97
200 meter butterfly
1. Yuko Nakanishi (JPN) 2:09.84
2. Elena Vinogradova (RUS) 2:11.09
3. Margaretha Pedder (GBR) 2:12.48
Final Swimming Medal Tally: