World University Games, Swimming: United States Posts Stellar Day

BELGRADE, Serbia, July 8. THE United States had an outstanding effort during the fourth day of action at the World University Games held in Serbia.

Women's 800 free finals
Whitney Sprague of the U.S. had no peer in the women's distance free event today. Sprague led the race at every turn as she built her advantage throughout each 100 meters. She finished the race with a winning time of 8:32.71. Japan's Yumi Kida claimed second-place honors in 8:34.98, while Italy's Roberta Panara placed third in 8:40.00.

Women's 200 IM finals
Ava Ohlgren of the U.S. continued her strong meet thus far with a gold-medal winning time of 2:12.07 in the medley event. The swim gave her the Games record, downing Katilin Sandeno's 2007 record of 2:12.13. Japan went 2-3 in the finale with Asami Kitagawa (2:13.39) and Tomoyo Fukuda (2:13.71) taking silver and bronze.

Men's 100 free semis
William Copeland of the U.S. earned the top seed in the men's 100 free semis with a time of 48.53. Meanwhile, Australia's Cameron Prosser raced into the second seed with a 48.72. Kenya's Jason Dunford (48.82) and Russia's Sergey Fesikov (48.93) completed the top four finishers in semis.

Women's 100 fly semis
Hong Kong's Hannah Wilson kept on rolling at the meet with another strong outing. This time, she set the Games record with a 58.52 to claim the top seed in finals. The swim beat Otylia Jedrzejczak's meet mark of 58.74 set in 2005. China's Hong Wenwen placed second in 59.10, while Amanda Sims of the U.S. qualified third in 59.68. Japan's Chika Dobashi pocketed fourth-seed honors with a 59.80.

Men's 200 breast finals
Ukraine's Igor Borysik smashed the Games record in the event with a time of 2:08.73. The effort also crushed his national mark of 2:10.70 set in June. Japan's Naoya Tomita finished second in 2:11.02, while battling Lithuania's Giedruis Titenis. Titenis touched just behind for third in 2:11.14. Brazil's Tales Cerdeira also was in medal contention with a fourth-place 2:11.22.

Women's 100 back finals
Japan's Shiho Sakai used a strong backhalf to capture the title in 1:00.30. Sakai flipped second behind compatriot Eri Tabei (29.35 to 29.36), but clocked a 30.94 in the final 50 for the win. Tabei faded to third with a 1:01.01, while Canada's Katy Murdoch remained steady for silver with a 1:00.92.

Men's 200 fly finals
Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski clipped his national mark as well as smashed the Games record with a top time of 1:54.30. His previous best had been a 1:54.38 set in March 2008, while Japan's Ryusuke Sakata owned the Games mark with a 1:55.92. Japan went 2-3 to complete the podium as Kazuya Kaneda (1:56.43) and Sakata (1:56.75) cleared 1:57.

Women's 200 breast semis
Nada Higl, who hails from the host country Serbia, completed a remarkable progression of her national record through two swims today. First, Higl clocked a 2:26.35 during prelims to down her 2:29.79 set in June 2009. She then crushed the mark with a 2:23.34 during semis for the top seed. Japan's Rie Kaneto turned in a second-seeded time of 2:23.66, while Italy's Chiara Boggiatto finished third in 2:26.57. Russia's Alena Alexeeva wound up fourth in 2:27.09.

Men's 50 back finals
Japan dominated with a 1-2 finish in the sprint back as Junya Koga clocked a blistering time of 24.63. Ryosuke Irie grabbed second with a silver-winning time of 25.05, while Israel's Guy Barnea snared third in 25.09.

Women's 800 free relay
The U.S. quartet of Ava Ohlgren, Morgan Scroggy, Chelsea Nauta and Kristen Heiss ended a stellar night for the Americans with a winning effort of 8:00.49 in the distance relay event. Canada's Kevyn Peterson, Breanna Hendricks, Seanna Mitchell and Katy Murdoch placed second in 8:03.67, while Italy's Silvia Florio, Erica Buratto, Robert Ioppi and Ambra Migliori snared third in 8:06.14.