On day 6, also known as Monday, of the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russian, the women’s 50 breaststroke kicked off in the preliminary rounds with quite a swim, but not from the swimmer of whom it was most expected
Petra Chocova of the Czech Republic won the women’s 50 breaststroke and broke the Universiade Record in 30.67, which improves a May time that ranks her 6th in the world this year. The old record belonged to the great Megan Jendrick from the 2005 edition of this meet, where she was a 30.68.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Yulia Efimova, who already broke a Meet Record in the 100, sits 2nd in 21.10, while the Ukraine’s Mariia Liver is 3rd in 31.47.
This race is a bit of an Eastern European stranglehold, with European dominance extending even further to Fiona Doyle’s 4th seed of 31.76.
The first one to break the continental sweep is Canada’s Tianna Rissling in 31.85 as the 5th seed.
The two Americans both qualified for finals, with Laura Sogar touching 7th in 32.07 and Emily McClellan sitting 12th in 32.43.
Next up is the men’s 50 free, where things were surprisingly tempered in the morning heats. Russia’s Andrey Grechen was the top seed in 22.26 and his countrymate Vlad Morozov was 2nd in 22.31. With Morozov having opened his 100 on the 400 free relay in a faster swim than that (even taking into account the relay start), I don’t think it will take much longer than the semi-finals to see the pair push down toward Sergey Feikov’s Meet Record of 22.02.
American Derek Toomey from Minnesota, who really began to make his name at last year’s NCAA Championships, was 3rd in 22.43, and Australian Andrew Abood came in 4th in 22.47.
Other notable semi-finalists include Geoff Cheah in 22.76, Andrii Govorov in 22.74 (a surprisingly slow time for him), Adam Small in 22.79, and future Tennessee Volunteer Kacper Majchrzak in 23.00. Brazil’s Vinicius Waked snuck into the final as the last seed as well in 23.06.
Much of the focus lately has been on the sprint butterfly prowess of Canadian Katerine Savard, but she will also swim the 200 fly at the World Championships, and from the looks of things could swim it quite well.
She took the top seed in Kazan on Monday with a 2:11.38 ahead of Japan’s Kona Fujita in 2:11.72. American Jasmine Tosky was 3rd in 2:12.24, and Russia’s Yana Martynova was 4th in 2:12.59.
The 2nd American, Kelsey Floyd, came in 10th in 2:16.37.
In the women’s 50 free, it was the Frenchwoman Anna Santamans, who at 20 years old was a 25.00 to just miss her own personal best (from the Olympics no less). She couldn’t earn a spot on the French World Championship team, though, despite now being the fastest swimmer in her country this year by almost nine-tenths of a second.
And closing the morning session, the Russians took another predictable top seed in the 800 free relay with a 7:14.74, including a 1:47.84 leadoff from Artem Lobuzov. The Americans were second, though probably too far back for a shot at gold, with a 7:19.92, and Japan sits 3rd in 7:20.99.
The Russians’ slowest split in the heats, including their leadoff was a 1:49.00; that’s faster than anybody on any other leg of any other relay was.