BANGKOK, Thailand, August 11. FANS attending swimming competition during the third night of the World University Games were in for a treat as several of the races came down to the touch. Meanwhile, entire fields crossed some of the sprints in less than a second of each other.
Women's 400 freestyle
Italy's Federica Pellegrini left no doubt who the superior middle distance swimmer was in the race when she clocked a Games-record time of 4:06.11, nearly four seconds better than France's Coralie Balmy's 4:10.08.
Pellegrini's time was just a second off her sixth-best time in the world this year of 4:05.20 recorded at the Paris Open, while Balmy's best effort this year came with a 4:09.46 in March.
Austria's Jordis Steinegger rounded out the medal-winners with a bronze-winning 4:11.88, while the United States put two into finals. Claire Maust finished fifth in 4:13.13, while Kelsey Ditto took eighth in 4:17.02.
Men's 100 breaststroke
Talk about an exciting finish! Only .67 seconds separate the winner from eighth place in the men's 100 breaststroke. Ukraine's Valeriy Dymo touched first in 1:01.27, while Russia's Grigory Falko placed second in 1:01.33 and Canada's Scott Dickens took third in 1:01.42.
The rest of the top eight went as follows: Ukraine's Igor Borysik (1:01.58), Japan's Hiromasa Sakimoto (1:01.66), Kazakhstan's Vlad Polyakov (1:01.68), Great Britain's Darren Mew (1:10.79) and Japan's Yuta Suenaga (1:01.94).
Men's 50 backstroke
In another incredibly close battle, Germany's Helge Meeuw emerged triumphant with a Universiade-record readout of 25.42. Japan's Junya Koga touched just behind with a silver-winning 25.43, while Great Britain's Matthew Clay claimed bronze in 25.44.
Meeuw's time improved upon his ninth-place world ranking this year of 25.46 registered at the German National Championships in April. It moved him into sole possession of ninth, as he previously sat tied with Camille Lacourt.
Koga's time of 25.43 jumped him ahead of Lacourt into 10th place, improving his previous 10th-ranked time of 25.52 set at the Japan National Championships. Clay's time, however, did not match his sixth-ranked effort of 25.32 set at Worlds.
The rest of the top eight all finished within .32 seconds of Meeuw. Japan's Junichi Miyashita (25.57), Italy's Mirco Di Tora (25.58), Russia's Sergey Makov (25.69), Canada's Callum Ng (25.72) and Korea's Min Sung completed the rest of the championship final times.
Women's 200 breaststroke
Korea's Seul Ki Jung went off with a Games-record time of 2:24.67 to win the event. That effort cut three seconds off her previous season-best time of 2:27.83 and vaulted her into fourth in the world this year. She now stands behind only world-record holder Leisel Jones (2:21.84), the United States' Rebecca Soni (2:23.62) and Japan's Nanaka Tamura (2:24.55).
Japan's Rie Kaneto captured second place in 2:25.63, a time that knocked two seconds off her best effort this year of 2:27.71. She now stands 12th in the world behind Caitlin Leverenz' 2:25.62 set at the Pan American Games.
Canada's Annamay Pierse wound up with bronze in 2:25.73, which also improved her previous Canadian record time of 2:26.79 set at Pan Ams. The performance moved her into 13th in the world just behind Kaneto this year.
Men's 100 freestyle
Russia's Andrey Grechin picked up the gold medal with a time of 49.29, while the United States' Adam Ritter claimed silver in 49.70. Brazil's Fernando Silva rounded out the top three with a bronze-winning 49.71.
The United States' Matt Grevers is probably kicking himself after not making the A final, since he won the B with a time of 49.61. That would have given him the silver medal.
Men's 200 IM
Canada's Brian Johns posted the lone sub-2:00 mark of finals with a winning performance of 1:59.97 to also set the Universiade record. The clocking sat just a half-second off his Canadian-record time of 1:59.45 set at Worlds, the fifth-ranked global effort this year.
Japan's Ken Takakuwa took silver in 2:00.09 to improve upon his previous season-best time of 2:00.69. He cracked into the top 10 in the world this year with that readout to stand behind ninth-place Liam Tancock's 1:59.91.
Poland's Lukasz Wojt turned in a third-place time of 2:00.32, which pushed him into 14th in the world behind 13th-place Dean Kent's 2:00.30.
Women's 800 freestyle relay
The United States's contingent of Kate Dwelley (1:59:03), Erin Reilly (1:59.82), Lindsey Smith (2:00.17), Kaitlin Sandeno (1:58.85) set the Universiade-record with a gold-winning time of 7:57.87. Notably, Dwelley's leadoff clocking of 1:59.03 put her among the top 15 in the world this year.
China's quartet of Tan Miao, Xu Yanwei, Zhu Yingwen, Pang Jiaying took silver in 7:58.28, while Italy's foursome of Flavia Zoccari, Roberta Ioppi, Alice Carpanese, Federica Pellegrini garnered bronze in 8:01.11.