|James defends title in thrilling dead heat
Gold, silver and three bronze in the pool
GWANGJU: Gold to defending champion Justin James in the 200m individual medley, a silver and three bronze capped off a medal rush in the pool for the Uniroos at the World University Games in Gwangju, Korea.
James, an Australian National University humanities student, dead heated for gold with USA Joshua Prenot in a dramatic final and was joined on the podium by Jack McLoughlin with silver in the 400m freestyle and bronze medals to Jacob Hansford in the 200m freestyle, Kiah Melverton in the 1500m freestyle and Ami Matsuo who stormed home to win the bronze in the 100m freestyle.
Creating history becoming the first Australian swimmer to defend a University Games title, the 22-year-old said he was willing the wall to come at the finish.
“Just get on the bloody wall, that’s what I was thinking,” James said. “I knew it would come down to the final leg.”
“It’s the fastest I’ve been in two years and this sets me up really well for next year and the Olympic trials.”
After just one bronze medal on the opening two days in the pool, night three began with a bronze to Griffith University’s Kiah Melverton in the women’s 1500m freestyle.
The 18-year-old, on her first Australian team, sliced ten seconds from her previous lifetime best to win the bronze in 16:21.39.
“My plan was just to get in a race really. I knew the other girls would be out fast so I tried to stick with them for as long as I could then do my own thing,” a thrilled Melverton said.
With the 4x200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events still to come Melverton will be another medal chance in her preferred 800m event.
Medals flowed, with 19-year-old Jacob Hansford (ACPE) coming from seventh with a lap to go, to snatch the bronze in the 200m freestyle in 1:47.15 with gold to Reed Malone (USA) in 1:47.15. Likewise Ami Matsuo (Ultimo TAFE), who swam from lane eight in the 100m freestyle final as the slowest qualifier and somehow managed to come from eighth at the 50m mark to get on the podium in 54.94 with gold to Shannon Vreeland of the US in 54.39..
In the final event, after finishing fifth in the 800m freestyle on Sunday, QUT’s Jack McLoughlin claimed the silver medal in the 400m freestyle with 3:48.88, just .04 behind Great Britain’s Jay Lelliott.
In other sports, Emma Nedov (Australian Catholic University) finished eighth in the gymnastics all around final, the women’s coxless four finished sixth, the Emerging Opals had a convincing 85-40 win over Brazil and the men’s water polo team beat France 14-9.
The swimming medals elevated Australia to 11th on the medal tally with one gold, one silver and six bronze medals after three days of competition.
For a full Day Three swimming wrap click here:
For a wrap of all other Day Three action click here:
The 2015 World University Games run until Tuesday, 14 July, information about the event can be found here: http://www.gwangju2015.com/
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