World University Games, Swimming: Several National Records Fall; Ryosuke Irie Shines

BELGRADE, Serbia, July 5. THE first night of long course meter swimming at the World University Games featured several national records falling by the wayside. Meanwhile, Ryosuke Irie set up a potentially incendiary final in the men's 100 back.

Men's 400 free finals
Poland's Przemyslaw Stanczyk held off a hard-charging Chad La Tourette of the U.S., 3:46.72 to 3:46.93. With La Tourette closing the distance at the 300-meter mark, Stanczyk had just enough over the final 100 meters to claim the title.

Italy's Federico Colbertaldo completed the podium with a bronze-winning effort of 3:47.17. Matt Patton wound up fourth for the U.S. in 3:47.51.

Women's 50 fly semis
Italy's Cristina Maccagnola topped qualifying in the women's sprint fly with a time of 26.46. Belarus' Svetlana Khokhlova qualified second in 26.47 to lower her national record of 26.48 set in June 2009. Australia's Alice Mills (26.65) and Hong Kong's Hannah Wilson (26.66) touched third and fourth.

Men's 100 back semis
Japan's Ryosuke Irie foreshadowed an exciting finale in the men's 100 back with a swift time of 52.87. The performance is not far off his national record of 52.56 set in May 2009. Germany's Helge Meeuw qualified second in 53.13, missing his German record of 53.08 set last week.

Austria's Markus Rogan smashed his national mark with a third-place 53.33. The swim cleared Rogan's 53.78 set in March 2007. Japan's Junya Koga rounded out the top four with a 54.32.

Women's 400 IM finals
The United States dominated the distance medley event with a 1-2 finish. Ava Ohlgren captured the gold medal with a time of 4:40.61. Lyndsay De Paul finished second in 4:41.94. Russia's Svetlana Karpeeva placed a distant third with a time of 4:44.26.

Men's 100 breast semis
Serbia's Caba Siladi provided the hometown crowd something to cheer for with the first sub-1:00 effort by a Serbia when he qualified in 59.90. The readout crushed his national record of 1:00.59 set in June 2009. Lithuania's Giedrius Titenis qualified second in 1:00.04 to lower his national mark of 1:00.11 set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Japan's Hiromasa Sakimoto touched third in 1:00.01, while Italy's Fabio Scozzoli cleared the Italian standard with a 1:00.14. Domenico Fioravanti owned the previous record with a 1:00.46 set in September 2000.

Women's 200 back semis
Great Britain's Stephanie Proud and Kristen Heiss of the U.S. cleared 2:11 as the top qualifiers in the women's 200 back. Proud touched in 2:10.27 to earn the Games record, while Heiss posted a 2:10.86 for second place.

Japan's Eri Tabei qualified third in 2:11.42, while compatriot Tomoyo Fukuda also dipped under 2:12 with a fourth-place 2:11.99 heading into finals.

Men's 50 fly semis
Kenya's Jason Dunford nearly cleared 23 seconds in the men's sprint fly semis. Dunford clocked a Games record time of 23.09. Chris Brady of the U.S. punched the wall in 23.38, closing in on Ian Crocker's American record of 23.12 set in July 2005.

Slovenia's Jernej Godec placed third in 23.55 to break a tie for the national mark of 23.74 between he and Peter Mankoc. Serbia's Ivan Lender qualified fourth in 23.61.

Women's 400 free relay finals
The United States' foursome of Michelle King, Madison Kennedy, Ava Ohlgren and Morgan Scroggy won in 3:41.81, while Japane's team of Yayoi Matsumoto, Misaki Yamaguchi, Asami Kitagawa and Shiho Sakai took second in 3:42.60. Canada's Marie-Pier Ratelle, Brenna Hendriks, Katy Murdoch and Seanna Mitchell finished third in 3:43.09.

Men's 400 free relay finals
The U.S. contingent of William Copeland, Chris Brady, Eric McGinnis and Doug Robison cruised in the relay with a Games-record time of 3:14.74. Italy's Michele Santucci, Nicola Cassio, Vittorio Dinia and Andrea Rolla touched second in 3:16.07, while France's Antoine Galavtine, Sebastien Bodet, Kevin Trannoy and Boris Steimetz claimed third in 3:16.57.