The United States won five medals on the second night of competition at the 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen, China. The U.S. was led by gold medal performances from Tim Phillips (Vienna, W.V.) in the 50m fly, Michael Klueh (Evansville, Ind.) in the 800m free and the men’s 4x100m free relay team.
Phillips, who won the 2011 National Championship in the 100m fly, started the night off with a personal-best 23.51 in the 50m fly. Despite having the slowest reaction time of the field, Phillips had a strong first three strokes and finished ahead of Italy’s Paolo Faccinelli (23.85) and Japan’s Masayuki Kishida (23.93).
“I’m extremely happy with my swim tonight,” the gold medalist said. “I had a much better kick out than this morning giving me the win. I couldn’t be happier.”
The United States continued to put swimmers on the podium when Stephanie Peacock (Cape Coral, Fla.) placed third in the 400m free with a 4:10.25 for her first international medal. New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle won the race in 4:07.78 and Spain’s Melania Costa Schmid came in second with a 4:07.97. Alyssa Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif.) just missed the podium coming in fourth in 4:10.25.
Klueh elevated the Americans back to the gold medal stand with his performance in the 800m free. Swimming in his third World University Games, Klueh led Italy’s Rocco Potenza for the first 300m. Potenza would lead the race after that getting as much as a 1.5 second lead ahead of Klueh until the final 50m when he turned in a 27.34 split to give the 2007 Games gold medalist the victory with a time of 7:52.31. Potenza finished in 7:53.45 and Japan’s Yohsuke Miyamoto finished third with a 7:56.29. David Mosko’s (Cincinnati, Ohio) time of 8:01.77 from the morning’s heat was good enough to for seventh.
“I swam fast the first 200m and in the middle of the race I just paced myself to keep in contact with [Potenza],” Klueh said about his strategy. “There was nothing else in my mind but to speed up the last 100m.”
In the women’s 400m free, Megan Romano (St. Petersburg, Fla.) got the United States their third medal in as many events when she finished with a 55.38 for a bronze medal. China’s Tang Yi swam a 54.24 for a new Games record and Ukraine’s Darya Stepanyuk came in second with a 55.32. Fellow American Kate Dwelley (Brentwood, Calif.) finished the race in fifth swimming a 55.61.
The U.S. ended the night the same way they started it, winning their fifth total medal and third gold when the men’s team of Jimmy Feigen (San Antonio, Tex.), Phillips, Kohlton Norys (Visalia, Calif.) and Bobby Savulich (Edison, N.J.) bested Brazil and France in the 4x100m free relay. Feigen got the Americans out in the lead on the first 100m with a 49.27, as the United States was the only country to have all four swimmers swim under 50 seconds for their leg of the race. The U.S. finished in 3:15.85, nearly a second and a half ahead of Brazil (3:17.40). France finished in third with a 3:18.78.
“[The United States] has a long history of successful relays,” Savulich, who anchored the team, said. “We wanted to win this gold medal for our country and become part of the examples that have inspired us.”
In other races, Japan’s Izumi Kato won the women’s 200m medley with Korea’s Hye Ra Choi coming in second in 2:14.17. New Zealand’s Gareth Kean got gold in the men’s 100m back swimming a 54.71 with Spain’s Juan Rando Galvez finishing second in a time of 54.94.
The third day of pool competition at the 2011 World University Games will continue tomorrow with prelims beginning at 9 a.m. local time and finals commencing at 7 p.m. For all results, please visit the World University Games results page.