World University Games, Swimming: Jason Dunford Sets African Record, Rie Kaneto Claims Asian Mark, Incredible 50 Breast Semis

BELGRADE, Serbia, July 9. TWO continental records fell during the fifth day of swimming at the World University Games held in Serbia. Meanwhile, likely the fastest 50 breast semifinal field in history occurred to close the curtains on a scintillating evening.

Men's 1500 free finals
Poland's Przemyslaw Stanczyk clocked a Games record time of 14:51.06 in the distance event for the win. The time broke the record of 15:00.26 set by Chad La Tourette in 2007. La Tourette placed second for the U.S. in 14:53.77, while Italy's Federico Colbertaldo wound up third in 15:03.90.

Women's 200 free semis
Slovenia's Sara Isakovic topped the semifinal rounds with a time of 1:58.96, while Canada's Kevyn Peterson clocked a 1:59.24 to earn the second seed. South Africa's Leone Vorster claimed third overall in 1:59.94, while Chelsea Nauta cleared 2:00 with a fourth-seeded time of 1:59.97.

Men's 100 fly semis
Kenya's Jason Dunford went out under world-record pace during the first 50, but could not hold on to catch Ian Crocker's 50.40 global mark set back in 2005. Dunford went out in 23.45, and came back in 27.40 for a 50.85 compared to Crocker's 23.51, and 26.89 splits. Dunford's swim crushed his African record of 51.14 set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Dunford will get another chance at Crocker's record during finals tomorrow.

Christopher Brady qualified second in a swift time of 51.42, while Czech's Michal Rubacek touched third in 52.11. His swim beat the Czech record of 52.92 held by Jan Sefl since February. Brazil's Frederico Castro placed fourth overall in 52.52.

Women's 200 breast finals
Japan's Rie Kaneto edged her Asian record in the event with a winning time of 2:22.32. That swim broke her Asian and Japanese mark of 2:22.33 set in April 2009. Serbia's Naha Higl took second in 2:24.20, off her national record pace of 2:23.34 set during semis yesterday. Russia's Alena Alexeeva completed the podium with a third-place 2:25.40.

Men's 100 free finals
Russia's Sergey Fesikov used a superior final 50 to claim the title with a 48.43. Fesikov turned second with a 23.10, behind William Copeland of the U.S., who flipped at 22.86. Copeland faded to fourth with a 48.84, while Australia's Cameron Prosser (48.57) and Kenya's Jason Dunford (48.73) took silver and bronze.

Women's 50 back semis
China's Xu Tianlongzi and Japan's Shiho Sakai traded the Games record in each semifinal heat. Sakai first clocked a 28.43 to beat the 28.61 set by Aya Terakawa in 2007. Xu then returned fire in the second semi with a 28.40 to head into finals with the standard. Lauren Rogers of the U.S. qualified third in 28.57, while Belarus' Aleksandra Gerasimenya touched fourth in 28.61.

Men's 200 back semis
Japan's Ryosuke Irie cruised into finals with a Games record time of 1:56.03. The performance wiped out the 1:56.66 set by Markus Rogan of Austria back in 2007. France's Eric Ress placed second in 1:57.98, while Japan's Kazuki Watanabe took third in 1:58.10. Patrick Schirk of the U.S. grabbed the fourth spot in 1:59.02.

Women's 100 fly finals
Hong Kong's Hannah Wilson raced to the win with a time of 58.24. The effort cleared the 58.52 she set yesterday. China's Hong Wenwen claimed silver in 59.19, while Japan's Ayano Kuroki touched third in 59.44. Amanda Sims of the U.S. wound up fourth in 59.45.

Men's 50 breast semis
In what is likely one of the fastest semifinals in 50 breast history, five swimmers cleared 27.40. World record holder Felipe Silva of Brazil blazed the second semifinal with a time of 27.23. The time puts him in position to go after his global standard of 26.89 set in May.

The second semifinal also produced four of the other top five swimmers heading into finals. Israel's Michael Malul finished just behind Silva with a sizzling 27.27. That beat his previous national record of 27.85 set in August 2007. Serbia's Caba Siladi hit the wall in 27.31 to clip his national mark of 27.34 set last week, while Brazil's Joao Gomes Jr. finished with a 27.34.

Mark Gangloff's American record of 27.34 set during a world record attempt time trial at the USA Swimming National Championships might not last long. Kevin Swander of the U.S. clocked a sterling 27.40 in qualifying out of the first semifinal. He tied Germany's Hendrik Feldwehr, who finished with a 27.40 in the second semifinal.