Americans, Russians Poised to Finish Universiade With More Medals

A short preliminary session marks the final day of pool swimming in Kazan at the World University Games (with open water set to go on Wednesday), with a pair of 400 meter events and a pair of relay preliminary rounds.

First, in the women’s 400 freestyle preliminary rounds, Elena Sokolova from Russia took the top seed in 4:11.71, holding off Caitlin McClatchey (4:11.84) and American Stephanie Peacock (4:12.21) for the top seed. Those three all came out of a swift first heat in the preliminaries, meaning that they probably pushed a bit harder early than some of their competitors did.

Similarly, the 3rd preliminary heat was strong as well, with Australian teenager Leah Neale coming in for the 4th overall seed in 4:12.89 and Canadian Brittany MacLean sitting 5th in 4:13.22.

The 2nd prelim, though, was the one that caught a few folks. It was won by Italy’s Martina de Memme, the swimmer who on Monday had to be carried off deck on a stretcher after winning the 800 free, in 4:13.22, but she would be the only swimmer in the heat to advance. That meant the 2nd American Chelsea Chenault was left 9th in 4:14.04 and out of the final despite being the 2nd seed overall. This was a rare non-final for the American squad at this meet.

In the only men’s preliminary race, the 400 IM, Japan’s Takaharu Fujimori took top honors in 4:19.47, ahead of American Michael Weiss (4:20.78) and Canadian Alec Page (4:20.85).

In a surprise appearance, Russia’s Semen Makovich, who swept the 200 and 400 IM’s in Poland at the European Junior Championships over the weekend, has returned home to Russia to final in this 400 IM with a 4:20.99. That’s much slower than the 4:14 that he used to win in Poznan, though, so he could challenge for gold if he can get revved up for finals.

The 2nd American, Adam Hinshaw, was 7th in 4:21.64.

In the women’s 400 medley relay prelims, with all three relays using somewhat of their “B” lineups, the Russians took the top seed in 4:04.46, the Americans were 2nd in 4:06.51, and the Canadians were 3rd in 4:07.23.

Though all will make changes in the finals, it seems as though the Russians have the most to be gained from those changes with the possibility of inserting Anastasia Zueva and Yulia Efimova into the front-half of their relay. The Americans, though, have a chance if Megan Romano ends up anchoring and popping another big split like she’s done in the other two relays thus far.

And finally, threatening the possibility of a Russian men’s relay sweep, Japan took the top seed in the men’s 400 medley prelims with a 3:37.10, leaving the Russians in 2nd in 3:37.5 and the Americans 3rd in 3:38.0.

The Russian men, however, will probably move Vlad Morozov into their backstroke leg and Andrey Grechin into their freestyle leg, which still makes them the favorite in finals.

These finals will combine with four others (women’s 50 free, men’s 50 free, women’s 50 breast, and women’s 200 fly) to form the last session in the pool in Kazan tonight.

Full, live meet results available here.

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Philip Johnson
7 years ago

Bronze for Romano in the 50 free.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Philip Johnson
7 years ago

Yes, win for Herasimenia in 24.48.
Silver medal Miss Santamans in 24.81, the first for France! 🙂
And bronze for Miss Romano in 24.98, first time under 25 for her. Not bad after all her races of the week.

Philip Johnson
7 years ago

21.67 for Vlad.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Philip Johnson
7 years ago

He must be a little tired after all his races to go under 21.50. The 50 back and the 50 breast are useless for him.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

30.12 for Efimova in the 50 breast! She has much speed this week.

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Which makes her relatively unimpressive 200m even more mysterious. Has she been training for all out speed rather then endurance, or did she just take it easy in that race. I suspect the latter, but you’d think after going eyeballs out in the other 2 breast events she would have wanted to really make a statement and give her rivals something to think about.

But then this is Efimova, who sometimes seems to forget she’s in a race until the last length of the pool, so who knows…

bobo gigi
Reply to  DanishSwimFan
7 years ago

She will finish second behind RMP in the 200 breast in Barcelona.

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago


Reply to  DanishSwimFan
7 years ago

I added Efimova to my list of stroke rates (number of strokes) in Women’s 100m breast:

1st,50m / 2nd,50m

Hardy 22/26 = 48
Larsson 19/23 = 42
Pedersen 18/20 = 38 (Canet, Mare Nostrum Series)
Soni 24/29 = 53 (London)
Meilutyte 23/29 = 52(London)
Efimova 21/29 = 50 (Universiade)

Efimova seems to raise her stroke rate over last 50 metres considerably more than her opponents on my list.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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