Russians win three of four events in Kazan at Universiade

On the first night of competition of the World University Games in Kazan, Russia the home country collected gold in three of the four finals that were swum.

Women’s 400 IM

Russian Yana Martynova, who was a hometown favourite as she attends Kazan Federal University, won the women’s 400 IM in a time of 4:39.02, which is currently ranked 12th in the world, which she will be looking to improve on in Barcelona. The time is a season’s best for Martynova who swam a 4:41.23 in April. She currently holds the Russian national record with a time of 4:36.25 was posted in heats of the 2008 Beijing Olympics where she eventually finished seventh.

Martynova also competed in the 400 IM in London where she finished 24th.

USC’s Megan Hawthorne was well behind at the 200 meter mark and had an outstanding breaststroke leg to reel in the Russian, although she closed the gap she did not have enough to over Martynova and eventually finished second in a time of 4:40.40, which is just off her lifetime best of 4:40.00 which she swam last year.

Sakiko Shimizu of Japan finished third in a time of 4:42.09, well of her season’s best of 4:40.35 which she posted at the Japanese national championships in March.

Barbora Zavadova of the Czech Republic was fourth in a time of 4:43.73, Marni Oldershaw was fifth 4:44.47, her Canadian teammate Tianna Rissling was sixth in a time of 4:44.62, Sarah Henry of the United States was seventh in a time of 4:46.02 and Victoria Malyutina of Russia was eighth in a time of 4:46.18.

 Men’s 400 freestyle

The men’s 400 freestyle was a thrilling race between Australian Olympian Ryan Napoleon and Japan’s Kohei Yamamoto. The lead went back and forth with Napoleon leading at the 100 by 12 one-hundredths of a second, Yamamoto lead at the 200 mark by 13 one-hundredths of a second, at the 300 mark Napoleon took a lead of five one-hundreths of a second and eventually won the event in a time of 3:48.96 with Yamamoto finishing second in a time of 3:49.03.

Napoleon’s time is well off his season’s best of 3:46.26, which currently ranks seventh in the world and he will be looking to improve on in Barcelona.

Yamamoto’s time of 3:49.03 beats his season’s best of 3:50.37.

Fumiya Hidaka of Japan finished third in a time of 3:50.63.

Evgeny Kulikov of Russian finished fourth in a time of 3:50.72, American Alex Wold finished fifth in a time of 3:51.68, Canadian Eric Hedlin finished sixth in a time of 3:52.01, Jacob Ritter of the United States finished seventh in a time of 3:53.68 and George O’Brien of Australia finished eighth in a time of 3:54.03.

Women’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay

Winning the Russians second gold medal of the evening was the relay team of Veronika Popova, Viktoriiya Andreeva, Magarita Nesterova and Daria Belyakina. The Russian quartet set a new games record in the preliminaries of 3:40.40, beating the record of 3:40.03 which was held by the Australians and broke their own record in the evening winning the event in a time of 3:38.15.

Popova – 54.35

Andreeva – 54.80

Nesterova – 54.33

Belyakina – 54.67

The win was not an easy one for the Russians as Megan Romano swimming the anchor leg for the Americans split an incredible 52.90, almost catching Belyakina. The American team of Rachel Acker (55.82), Andrea Murez (54.48), Liv Jensen (55.40) and Romano (52.90) finished in a time of 3:38.60. The Canadian team consisting of Sandrine Mainville (55.19), Carolina Lapierre Lemire (54.82), Paige Schultz (55.42) and Brittany MacLean (55.28) finished third in a time of 3:40.71.

The Australians finished fourth in a time of 3:41.89, the Italians finished fifth in a time of 3:42.81, France finished sixth in a time of 3:43.34, Japan finished seventh in a time of 3:43.45 and Sweden finished eighth in a time of 3:45.46.

Men’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay

Russia’s win in the women’s freestyle relay was impressive, but their win in the men’s event was a dominating performance by a team made up of Andrey Grechin, Nikita Lobinstev, Vlad Morozov and Danila Izotov won the event in a time of 3:10.88, almost a full six seconds ahead of the field. The team set a games record in the morning qualifying for the final in a time of 3:13.70, beating the American record of 3:14.74 and broke it once again with evening performance of 3:10.88.

Grechin – 47.98

Lobinstev – 47.92

Morozov – 47.14

Danila Izotov – 47.84

The Australians team, of Andrew Abood (49.61), Justin James (49.11), Jayden Hadler (48.84) and Daniel Arnamnart (48.77) won a battle with the Italian team, of Ginluca Maglia (49.78), Lorenzo Benatti (49.26), Stefano Pizzamiglio (49.14) and Michele Santucci (48.46), for silver in a total of 3:16.33 compared to the Italians 3:16.64.

The American team finished fourth in a time of 3:17.60, Japan finished fifth in a time of 3:17.97, Poland finished sixth in a time of 3:18.05, Canada finished seventh in a time of 3:20.50 and Switzerland finished eighth in a time of 3:21.01.


Women’s 50 butterfly

Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus qualified first in the 50 butterfly posting a time of 26.09. That is a season’s best for Herasimenia and is the seventh fastest time in the world this year. Canadian Katerine Savard qualified second in a time of 26.34 followed by Darya Tsvetkova of Russian who recorded a time of 26.49.

Men’s 100 backstroke 

Yuki Shirai of Japan was the fastest qualifier in the men’s 100 backstroke recording a season’s best time of 53.97. Ben Treffers of Australia qualified second in a time of 54.10 followed by American Jacob Pebley who qualified in a time of 54.14.

Men’s 100 breaststroke

Yasuhiro Koseki of Japan was the fastest qualifier in the men’s 100 breaststroke posting a time of 1:00.03, which is currently ranks sixth in the world. Russian Kirill Strelnikov qualified second in a time of 1:00.37 followed by American Mike Alexandrov.

Women’s 200 backstroke

Daryna Zevina of the Ukraine, who is currently ranked seventh in the world with a season’s best of 2:08.97, was the fastest qualifier in the women’s 200 backstroke recording a time of 2:10.36. She was followed by Hayle White of Australia who posted a time of 2:10.52 only one one-hundredth of a second faster than her Aussie teammate Madison Wilson who qualified in a time of 2:10.53.

Men’s 50 butterfly

Andrii Govorov of the Ukraine set a new national record of 23.27 on his way to being the fastest qualifier for the final of the men’s 50 butterfly. The previous record of 23.35 was set by Sergiy Breus in 2009. Yauhen Tsurkin of Belarus qualified second in a time of 23.49 followed by Piero Codia of Italy who posted a 23.49.

Medal totals at the end of the first day:

Russia – 3 Gold

Australia – 1 – Gold   1 – Silver

United States – 2 Silver

Japan – 1- Silver   2 – Bronze

Canada – 1 – Bronze

Italy – 1 – Bronze

Full results can be found here

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10 years ago

I think we learned Vlad should pony up and swim with the big boys USA style

10 years ago

I’ve just noticed that the order the comments are scrambled – not in chronological order especially the last comments and time stamps are incorrect.

Swimswam, will you look into it?

10 years ago

The one thing to consider in Barcelona compared to Kazan:
Russia will not have clear blue water from the start, unlike what happened in their Kazan swim.

10 years ago

Personally and as an Aussie myself, I don’t believe the Australian men’s 4x100m free relay deserve the status as a gold medal favourite. Yes, they won the world championship back in 2011, but that was due to the outstanding opening leg from James Magnussen.
First of all, let’s take a look at the men who may potentially swim the relay, be that heats or final. The guys who qualified from trials were Magnussen, Cameron McEvoy, James Roberts, Matt Targett, Tommaso D’Orsogna and Matt Abood. Then you have Kenneth To and Alexander Graham who qualified through other events but still swim an ok 100m free. I guess ok doesn’t cut it for gold.
James Magnussen is swimming well, and… Read more »

Reply to  petriasfan
10 years ago

I agree.

I think the Russians men are the favorite this year.

Reply to  petriasfan
10 years ago

Speaking as a native of neither country but a fan of both, I think it will come down to performance. If Australia perform on the day as a unit, they will stil win. They are less rounded than the Russians, but if all four Australians swim what they’re truly capable of, there’s little the other nations can do. They also have by far the best suppourt – they can rest all four swimmers for the final and still get a good lane if they wanted to, though more likely they’ll rest three or perhaps two. However, many of the swimmers are inconsistent or inexperienced.

The Russians’ swim today was much faster than I expected. On paper, they have to… Read more »

10 years ago

In fairness – if you look at the splits, we all know Izotov and especially Lobintsev can go quite a lot faster. Lobintsev was 47.3 at the Olympics, he’s 47.9 here.

I think the Russians do have some room to improve.

10 years ago

Russian sports ministry had demanded all Russian sports send their best teams. The women’s gymnastics team had all their eligible world & Olympic medallists lined up & won by 10 points. This event at home is worth more to Russia than the corresponding world championships.

The cash prize monies is not huge but like 2012 there will be cars etc. All of the gymnasts received a top Audi. One sold it for an apartment . Some cannot drive.

So in swimming – this may wellbe the peak.not to say they won’t do well in 2 weeks but the Sports ministry cares less .

10 years ago

10 swimmers, Barcelona contenders aren’t fully prepared for this meet.
But not Grechin.

10 years ago

Okay, my modest prediction that Russians are capable of posting inside 3:11 in Men’s relay came true before even Barcelona. However, I don’t raise the bar by predicting a time of inside 3:10. An improvement of a few tenths may be on its way but 3:10 low appears to be their absolute limit in Barcelona. After Russians having revealed their cards, thanks for making the picking much easier by the way, the thing to be considered is whether the others are able to respond?

About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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