2015 World University Games Day 7 Finals Live Recap

by Robert Gibbs 61

July 10th, 2015 News


After an exciting week, this will be the last night of pool competition for the 2015 World University Games.  As such, all eight races tonight will be for medals, and all will be exciting.

The most exciting, however, may be the men’s 50 free, where Brazilian Henrique Martins will be racing for his third individual gold medal of the week, after already taking the victories in the 100 free and the 50 fly.

At almost the other end of the speed spectrum American Josh Prenot will also be in the hunt for his third individual gold.  He won both the 200 breast and 200 IM this week, and he’ll be in lane 7 tonight in the men’s 400 IM.


Rozaliya Nasretdinova of Russia won her first individual gold of the meet with a 24.91, the only swimmer under 25.0.  That time puts her in the top 20 in the world this year.  Her teammate Eilzaveta Bazarova picked up the silver medal with a time of 25.05.  Holly Barratt of Australia touched third in 25.08 to win her third different medal this week, each in a different stroke.  Each of the medalists recorded a new personal best in the event.

Austria’s Birgit Kochischek placed 4th (25.17), followed by the two Americans, Abbey Weitzeil (25.27) and Madeline Locus (25.30).  Italy’s Aglaia Pezzato (25.42) and France’s Lauriane Haag (25.54) finished 7th and 8th.


Yauhen Tsurkin of Belarus spoiled tonight’s first attempt at three individual golds this meet.  It looked like Brazilian Henrique Martins had the lead in the final meters, but Tsurkin got his hand to the wall first to win, 22.22 to 22.24.  The 22.18 that Paul Powers (USA) swam in semifinals would have won gold if he had repeated that time in finals, but the 22.34 he swam tonight still earned him the bronze medal.

Yonel Govindin of France (22.41) just beat out Giuseppe Guttuso of Italy (22.42) for 4th place, while Ivan Kuzmenko (Russia) and Seth Stubblefield (USA) tied for 6th at 22.44.  Filip Wypych of Poland rounded out the field with a 22.58.


Mariia Liver won the first medal for the Ukrainian women this week, as her 30.73 was good enough for gold, despite being slightly slower than her time for the semifinals.  Ireland’s Fiona Doyle earned silver with a time of 31.09.  Just behind her were Italy’s Martina Carraro and Emma Reaney (USA), who ended up tying for bronze with 31.11.

Russian Natalia Ivaneeva placed 5th with 31.16, followed by Mina Matsushima of Japan (31.21) and Ilaria Scarcella of Italy (31.23).

The results had Lilia King (USA) with the fastest reaction time, but her 32.15 was over a second slower than she swam in semifinals, presumably due to a problem with her start.


This race went back and forth a couple of times, as top-seeded Yilin Zhou (China) touched first at the 50, but Italy’s Alessia Polieri fought back and led for the middle 100.  Zhou put it into another gear over the final 50, outsplitting Polieri by over a second to take the gold, 2:07.69 to 2:08.66.  That swim puts Zhou into the top ten in the world this year.

Hali Flickinger (USA) actually had the fastest split in the final 50, and used that to run down Stefania Pirozzi of Italy to win the bronze by a healthy margin, 2:08.80 to 2:10.41.

Misuzu Yabu of Japan was just behind Pirozzi (2:10.78).  Barbora Zavadova (Czech Republic) moved from 8th to 6th over the last 50 to out touch Jacomie Strydom of Canada by .01, 2:13.23 to 2:13.24.  Tina Rueger finished 8th with a time of 2:13.78.


There have been five events so far tonight,  and now five different countries have won gold.  After winning three bronzes in a row, the USA earned its first gold of the night thanks to a new personal best by Lindsay Vrooman, who had the top seed coming into the meet.

Vroomon took over the lead from Martina De Memme of Italy at the 200m mark, then held off another Italian, Martina Caramignoli, to win in a time of 8:26.67.  That swim puts her in the top ten in the world this year.  Caramignoli earned the silver medal and was visibly excited, as her 8:28.43 was the first time she’s been under 8:30.

Australia’s Kiah Melverton touched in 8:31.80 for the bronze medal.  De Memme ultimately placed 4th with a 8:38.66.

Asami Chida (China) had the 2nd-fastest final 50 to run down Kathryn Campbell (USA), 8:42.10 to 8:43.49, for 5th place.

Justnya Burska of Poland (8:44.03) and Martina Elhenicka of the Czech Republic (8:52.44) finished 7th and 8th.


The USA swept the medals in the final individual event, as Jay Litherland ruined teammate’s Josh Prenot’s bid for his third individual gold medal this week.  Litherland swam a balanced race, never holding the lead until the final 50m.  Prenot had his normal big back half, as he went from sixth to second on the breaststroke leg, but Litherland split 56.42 on the freestyle to surge ahead and win gold out of lane six in a time of 3:12.43, the fourth-fastest time in the world this year.  That’s also only .43 off the meet record, set by Michael Weiss of the USA in 2013, and a personal best for Litherland by 2.5 seconds.

2014-2015 LCM Men 400 IM

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Keita Sunama of Japan went out hard and almost hung on.  He was in lead for the first 350m of the race.  He and Prenot were side-by-side in lanes seven and eight, and Prenot ended up taking the silver in 4:13.15, also a lifetime best, while Sunama picked up bronze in 4:13.98.

Sunama’s teammate, Takeharu Fujimori, held off Great Britain’s Max Litchfield to take 4th place, 4:15.41 to 4:15.63.

Australia’s Travis Mahoney placed 6th in 4:17.55, followed by the Czech Republic’s Pavel Janecek (4:19.36) and Jakub Maly of Austria (4:22.09).


In what may be the biggest upset this week, Italy spoiled the USA’s attempt to sweep the relays at this meet.  Italy pulled ahead on the first 50 of the fly leg, en route to Elena Di Liddo splitting a 57.09, and Laura Letari held off Yui Yamane of Japan and individual 100 free gold medalist Shannon Vreeland of the USA to win the gold.  Italy touched in 4:00.50, Japan in 4:00.60, and the United States in 4:00.75.

It had been Canada in the lead after the backstroke leg, as 100 back gold medalist Kylie Masse touched first in 1:00.36.  Japan took the lead after the breaststroke leg, thanks to Mina Matsushima‘s 1:06.38, before Di Liddo put Italy in the lead to stay.  Di Liddo’s fly leg and Vreeland’s 54.05 were the fastest split in each stroke.

Russia placed fourth in 4:03.07, Australia fifth in 4:04.82, Germany sixth in 4:07.41, Canada seventh in 4:08.83, and New Zealand eighth in 4:09.18.


In another thrilling race, Russia won its only relay gold medal of this meet.  It’s not quite as easy to call this one an upset, as Russia did have the fastest time in prelims, but few fans would have predicted the USA would not earn a gold medal in either relay.

Japan’s Junya Hasegawa set the pace in the backstroke leg, touching in 54.18, and Japan stayed in first place through the breaststroke and fly legs, with Russia behind by .16 and the USA by .79 going into the freestyle.

Jack Conger of the USA had his second sub-48 split of the meet, anchoring in 47.95, but he ran out of room trying to run down Russian anchor Mikhail Polischchuk, with Russia winning 3:34.56 to 3:34.61.  Japan was another .21 behind the USA, finishing in 3:34.82.

Notably, Evgeny Koptelov of Russia, Matthew Josa of the USA, and Masayuki Umemoto of Japan all had 51-point splits on the fly leg.  Josa’s swim and Conger’s sub-48 anchor make it hard to argue that the US definitely would have been better off with Conger on fly and Seth Stubblefield on free, despite Conger having the 4th-fastest time in the 100 fly this year.

Australia placed 4th in a time of 3:36.12, highlighted by Justin James having the only other sub-48 freestyle leg of the event, a 47.98.  Craig Benson of Great Britain swam a field-leading 59.98 on the breaststroke leg en route to fifth-place time of 3:48.02

South Africa took sixth in 3:41.33, followed by Poland in 3:42.17.

France’s relay was disqualified, apparently for an early takeoff by Jordan Coelho on the fly leg.




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5 years ago

No medals for the 50m free women. Close race for the mens 50m. Powers 3rd. Tsurkin pipped Martins denying Martins of his 3rd gold.

Gina Rhinestone
Reply to  Zanna
5 years ago

What do you mean – no medals for the 50 m women ? I see Rozaliya , Elizabeth & Holly 12&3 .

Have they run out of medals ?

Reply to  Gina Rhinestone
5 years ago

Sorry. For the US women.

5 years ago

Reaney tied for bronze. Something was up with Lily King’s start.

5 years ago

3rd Bronze of the night for USA. Flickinger.