World Deaf Swimming Championships: Marcus Titus Keeps Rolling

COIMBRA, Portugal, August 10. THE third night of long course meter action at the World Deaf Swimming Championships saw a familiar face atop the podium as USA's Marcus Titus captured another title to go along with world deaf records from earlier in the meet.

Titus, the favorite so far for MVP of the meet, twice lowered the meet record in the men's 50 fly. First, he clocked a 25.42 in prelims to better the 26.25 set by Volodymyr Natalchuk of Ukraine back in 2007. Titus then captured the sprint fly title in 25.17. Russia's Ilya Trishkin touched second in 25.42, while Italy's Luca Germano placed third in 26.18.

Belarus' Mariya Rudzko set a meet record in the women's 100 back prelims with a 1:08.82. That swim eclipsed the 1:09.14 set by Anna Polivanchuk back in 2007. Rudzko returned in the final with a winning time of 1:07.61 to drop the meet record even more. USA's Lauren McAlpin touched second in 1:09.15, while South Africa's Peggy De Villiers placed third in 1:10.87.

Japan's Yashikazu Kanaji posted a 59.96 in the men's 100 back prelims to beat John Kealy's meet record of 1:00.51 from way back in 1995, but could not duplicate the sub-1:00 effort in finals with a winning time of 1:00.03. Kealy's world deaf record of 59.45 from 1998 had been in jeopardy. Russia's Ivan Kassin took second in 1:00.25, while Japan's Ryutaro Ibara claimed third in 1:00.28.

In an exciting finish, a pair of ties provided four swimmers a chance to make the podium in the women's 50 fly. Russia's Alena Akexeeva and USA's Peggy Liang tied for gold with matching 29.77s, while South Africa's Peggy De Villiers and Belarus' Katsiaryna Eramtsova tied for bronze with matching 30.11s.

Ukraine's Anna Tovsta, Iryna Tereshchenko, Valeriia Sytnikova and Ganna Lytvynenko won the women's 400 free relay in 4:01.90 to beat the meet record of 4:04.72 set by Russia back in 2007. Russia's Ilya Sarykin, Ilya Trishkin, Stepan Klimenko and Vitally Obotin topped the men's 400 free relay in 3:32.91, beating Ukraine's meet record of 3:40.86 set in 2007 and just missing the world deaf record of 3:32.52 held by Russia since 2006.

In preliminary action in the distance freestyle events, USA's Rebecca Meyers downed the meet record in the women's 800 free with a 9:26.83. That swim beat the former record of 9:31.76 set by compatriot Kristin Ates back in 2007. Meanwhile, Russia's Vitally Obotin paced the men's 1500 free prelims in 16:54.38.

Special thanks to Dana Elam for contributing to this report.