Aliaksandra Herasimenia took the women’s 50 butterfly in a World University Games record time of 25.84. The pervious games record of 25.97 was held by her fellow country woman Svetlana Khokhlova. Herasimenia’s time currently ranks her fourth in the world and is a lifetime best bettering the 25.87 that she recorded in 2012.
Canadian Katerine Savard, who has had a phenominal 2013, where she has set the Canadian records in the both the 50 (26.20) and the 100 butterfly (57.40), finished second in a new national record time of 26.05. Savard, who is currently ranked second in the world in the 100 butterfly, posted a time that will move her into sixth in the world rankings (not including Herasimenia’s time in the event).
Italians Elena Gemo and Silvia Di Pietro touched simaltaneously winning bronze in a time of 26.28, which is a season’s best for both swimmers.
Australian Holly Barratt finished fifth in a time of 26.44, Darya Tsvetkova finished sixth in a time of 26.53, Anna Santamans of France finished seventh in a time of 26.82 and Sandrine Mainville of Canada finished eighth in a time of 26.85.
The men’s 50 butterfly was an exciting race, which saw Andrii Govorov of the Ukraine and Yauhen Tsurkin of Belarus tie for the gold. Both men were just off their season’s bests, lifetime bests and were just outside the top ten times in the world with a winning time of 23.28 (both men have seasons bests that are ranked in the top 10). Govorov missed breaking the Ukrainian national record by one one-hundredth of a second, a record he set in the semi-finals posting a time of 0.01.
Piero Codia of Italy finished third in a lifetime best time of of 23.38.
Canadian Kelly Aspinall finished fourth in a time of 23.52. He was followed by two Russians Nikita Konovalov (23.65) and Evgeny Koptelov (23.70) who finished fifth and sixth. Crotia’s Mario Todorovic finished seventh in a time of 23.96 while Canadian Coleman Allen finished eighth in a time of 24.28.
Men’s 100 backstroke
Yuki Shirai collected Japan’s first gold of the games winning the men’s 100 backstroke in a time of 53.70, which is a lifetime best bettering the 53.97 that he posted in the semi-finals. The win was not an easy win for Shirai who had a slim lead at the 50 meter mark of five one-hundredths of a second over Australian Ben Treffers and American Jacob Pebley. Treffers continued to challenge Shirai right up to the touch eventually finishing second in a season’s best time of 53.76.
Pebley finished third in a time of 54.11, which is just off his season’s best of 53.98 that he recorded at the World Championship Trials in Indianapolis.
Russian Vitalii Melnikov finished fourth in a time of 54.14, Vitaly Borisov of Russia finished fifth in a time of 54.51, Kuninori Tada finished sixth in a time of 54.75, Australian Daniel Arnamnart finished seventh in a time of 54.84 and German Jan-philip Glania finished eighth in a time of 55.00.
Men’s 100 breaststroke
Yasuhiro Koseki gave Japan it’s second win of the evening by taking the men’s 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:00.00. Coming into the competition Koseki was the third fastest Japanese swimmer in the event this year behind Kosuke Kitajima (1:00.44) and Hiromasa Sakimoto (1:00.62), that was until he posted a 1:00.03 in the semi-final and then bettering that time in the final. His winning time of 1:00.00 ties him with Australian Brenton Rickard for fifth in the world.
Mike Alexandrov finished second in a time of 1:00.30, bettering his a season’s best time of 1:00.39, which he recorded at the American World Championship trials.
Edoardo Giorgetti won Italy’s fourth bronze of the evening, finishing third in a time of 1:00.36.
It was a disappointing race for Russian Kirill Strelnikov who finished fourth in a time of 1:00.48. Coming into the competition Strelnikov was the top ranked swimmer in the event having posted a time of 1:00.18 in April of this year.
Viatcheslav Sinkevich finished fifth in a time of 1:00.72, Andrea Toniato of Italy finished sixth in a time of 1:00.93, Cody Miller of the United States finished seventh in a time of 1:01.17 and Canadian Richard Funk finished eighth in a time of 1:01.35.
Women’s 200 backstroke
Australian Madison Wilson took the women’s 200 backstroke in a time of 2:09.22, which is the tenth fastest time in the world this year. Coming into the meet Wilson was not ranked in the top 100 (season’s best of 2:14.37) and had a best time of 2:13.20, which she posted at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships last year.
Daryna Zevina of the Ukraine finished second in a time of 2:09.41. Coming into the event Zevina was the favourite having posted a world’s top ten time of 2:08.97 earlier in the year.
After leading by almost a second at the 150 meter mark Hayle White of Australia finished third in a season’s best time of 2:09.84.
Marie Kamimura of Japan finished fourth in a time of 2:11.71, Genevieve Cantin of Canada finished fifth in a time of 2:11.78, Maria Gromova of Russia finished sixth in a time of 2:12.13, Kendyl Steward of the United States finished seventh in a time of 2:12.19 while fellow American Ellen Williamson finished eighth in a time of 2:13.28.
Women’s 100 freestyle
Russia’s Veronika Popova cruised to a 54.46 for the top seed headed into finals of the women’s 100 freestyle, and she pulled American Megan Romano with her to 54.68. Popova was a bit faster in prelims, but Romano showed that she’s the fastest sprinter, under the right circumstances, at this meet right now with her relay split on Wednesday. Also in that final as the 3rd seed is Belarusian Aleksandra Herasimenia in 54.85, though she may have been conserving energy for her 50 fly final later in the session. She’s the defending World Champion in the 100 free. Canada’s Sandrine Mainville is 4th in 54.92, which marks her first time under 55 seconds. That’s the best time by a Canadian so far in 2013.
Women’s 100 breaststroke
Another Russian, Yulia Efimova, cracked the WUG’s Record in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:07.10 semi-final swim. That breaks the 2009 record set by Italy’s Chiara Boggiato in 1:07.15. What was even more notable, though, was how she swam the race. She was 7th in her heat at the turn and wound up as the top seed with a 34.17 back-half: a second-and-a-half faster than anyone else closed. The United States’ Laura Sogar swam out of that same heat and took the 2nd seed in 1:07.78, as did Italy’s Giulia De Ascentis as the 3rd seed in 1:08.20. Ireland’s Fiona Doyle (1:08.43), Japan’s Mio Motgei (1:08.51), and Canada’s Tera van Beilen (1:08.54) were the top three in the other heat and were all safely through. The 2nd American, Emily McClellan, ended up 9th in 1:09.31.
Men’s 200 freestyle
The men’s 200 free really lit things up, with Danila Izotov and Nikita Lobintsev electifying the home crowd by going 1-2, and both breaking the Meet Record in the process. Izotov touched 1st in 1:47.03, followed by Lobintsev in 1:47.20, as both were under the 1:47.42 set by American Adam Ritter in 2007. The two swam very different races, with Lobintsev going out a full second faster than Izotov, but Izotov coming home even better. Even a lifetime best for American Michael Wynalda left him as the 3rd seed in 1:47.59, followed by Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski in 1:47.79. This will be one of the deeper finals of the meet, with Australia’s Ryan Napoleon sitting 5th in 1:48.52, and Paraguay’s Ben Hockin 6th in 1:49.01.
Medal totals at the end of the first day:
Russia – 3 gold
Australia – 2 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze
Japan – 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze
Belarus – 2 gold
Ukraine – 1 gold and 1 silver
United States – 3 silver and 1 bronze
Canada – 1 silver and 1 bronze
Italy – 5 bronze