Thursday is the 3rd day of the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia, and the action was again split basically between the Russians and the Americans, though the Japanese contingent started to show some good signs of life.
Men’s 1500 Freestyle
In the first event of the evening at the World University Games American Sean Ryan of the University of Michigan provided a brilliant performance in the 1500 freestyle, winning the event in a time of 14:57.33, breaking the 15 minute barrier for the first time in his swimming career. Ryan’s time currently ranks him fifth in the world and is a lifetime best by four seconds. He becomes the third American this year to go under 15 minutes.
Kohei Yamamoto of Japan finished second in a season’s best time by more than five seconds posting a 15:00.15, which currently ranks tenth in the world. Earlier in the meet Yamamoto finished second to Ryan Napoleon in the 400 freestyle recording a time of 3:49.03.
Sergii Frolov of the Ukraine finished third in a time of 15:02.63, which is also a season’s best for Frolov who posted a 15:06.93 at the Mare Nostrum meet in Barcelona earlier this month.
Men’s 200 freestyle
Russians Danila Izotov and Nikita Lobintsev are used to tight head to head battles and that is exactly what happened in the men’s 200 freestyle. Lobintsev took the first 100 meters out in a time of 51.67 34 one-hundredths of a second ahead of Izotov. Izotov had an incredible surge of speed in the third 50 and took over the lead, which he never gave up winning the event in a new games record time of 1:45.48. Izotov’s winning time also ties Yannick Agnel for the second fastest time in the world and with both Agnel and Sun Yang bypassing the event at the world championships, Izotov will be the favourite in Barcelona.
Lobinstev finished second in a time of 1:46.30, which is a season’s best and currently ranks tenth in the world this year. Pawel Korzeniowski of Poland finished third in a time of 1:46.91.
All three men were under American Adam Ritter’s World University Games record time of 1:47.42.
Women’s 100 breaststroke
Yulia Efimova dominated the women’s 100 breaststroke winning the event in a time of 1:05.48. Efimova, who finished seventh in the 100 breaststroke in London, now has the second fastest 100 breaststroke time in the world with only Ruta Meilutyte having gone faster in Monaco in early June. Efimova’s time bettered Italian Chiara Boggiato’s the games record of 1:07.14 and was just off her own Russian national record of 1:05.41 which was set in the shiny suit era.
Fiona Doyle of Ireland finished second in a time of 1:07.66 breaking her own Irish national record of 1:08.23 which she set in April at the Irish National Championships. Doyle, who trains at the University of Calgary has had an incredible year where she won the 100 breaststroke at the Canadian University Championships and has improved her lifetime best long course time by almost a second and a half.
American Laura Sogar finished third in a time of 1:07.78. The University of Texas swimmer, who finished fifth at the US World Championship Trials, was just off her season’s best of 1:07.57, which she recorded in May at the Charlotte Grand Prix.
Women’s 100 freestyle
Aleksandra Herasimenia of Belarus took the women’s 100 freestyle in a time of 53.50. Herasimenia, who won the 50 butterfly on the second evening of the competition, posted the third fastest time in the world this year with only Australian Cate Campbell (52.83) and American Missy Franklin (53.43) having gone faster. Her time was also a new games record breaking Chinese swimmer Tang Yi’s record of 54.24.
Veronika Popova of Russia finished second in a time of 54.12, breaking her own national record of 54.22, which she set in 2011.
American Megan Romano, who swam an amazing 52.90 anchoring the 4 x 100 freestyle relay on the first night of the competition, finished third in a time of 54.45. Though a 54.4 by no means is a bad time, it again reaffirms what American fans know: there is such a thing as a relay star.
Canada’s Sandrine Mainville put in another best time of 54.87 in the final, extending her lead as the fastest Canadian in the event this year.
Russia’s Margarita Nesterova was 5th in 55.01, and Britain’s Rebecca Turner was 7th in 55.46. Her countrymate Caitlin McClatchey, who was an Olympic finalist in the 200, missed out on the finals here.
Men’s 200 IM
After slow-playing the first two rounds, Australia’s Justin James swooped in, knocked a second off of his lifetime best, and won the men’s 200 IM in 1:58.35. He’s very much a Chase-Kalisz type of swimmer with a big-back half, only he’s got a little more to give on his backstroke leg.
Japan’s Hiromasa Fujimori was 2nd in 1:58.76, and his countrymate Takahiro Tsutsumi was 3rd in 1:59.54. All of a sudden in Japan, these IM races have become somewhat of a focus, and there’s a lot of great new talent rolling through the ranks.
Meanwhile, American Kyle Whitaker, who was the fastest swimmer in the prelims of this race, wound up 4th in 2:00.42. That was his slowest swim of the three rounds of this race, which is not a surprise given that it was swum 15 minutes after the 200 fly semi-final. He ended up making the final in that 200 fly, but still has little chance of medaling, and may have sacrificed one in this 200 IM in its favor.
Dmitry Zhilin was 5th in 1:01.13, and Australian Daniel Lester was 6th in 2:01.20.