The UniRoos have added two bronze medals to the gold and silver already collected in the pool, on a successful day six in Naples.
The men’s 4x200 freestyle relay team of Max Carelton (Queensland University of Technology), Ashton Brinkworth (The University of Western Australia), Brendon Smith (La Trobe University) and Jacob Hansford (Australian College of Physical Education) and Calypso McDonnell (Northwestern University) in the 50m backstroke claimed the bronze medals on the penultimate night of swimming at the Napoli Summer Universiade.
The men’s 4x200 team came from behind to finish third in 7:14.45 with the USA (7:09.77) and the host country Italy (7:10.43) securing gold and silver.
With Italy in contention the whole race the crowd was loud and on their feet cheering on the home team.
“That was incredible. I couldn’t even hear myself think,” Hansford said.
“We said before we went out that that roar was going to be for us and we just needed to feed off of that.”
The U.S. and Italy pulled ahead with 200m to go, but the bronze was up for grabs and Australia pushed until the end to claim third spot.
“We had a team meeting earlier today and yesterday talking about how the Americans always get up for the relays and I think that really inspired us tonight to give our best,” Brinkworth said.
Northwestern University’s Calypso McDonnell was also able to grab bronze in a final with the crowd behind the hometown swimmer. She finished third in 28.25 behind Italy’s Silvia Scalia (27.92) who took gold and Elise Haan (28.02) of the USA in second.
The engineering student put all on the line in her final individual race of the event.
“I got to about 15 metres left and it was super painful,” McDonnell said.
“I just wanted to go for it because I knew this was my last individual race and I was going to give all I’ve got.”
McDonnell and the relay team become the 89th and 90th swimmers to medal at a Universiade and the third and fourth medals for Australia at the 2019 Games behind William Yang’s (The University of Sydney) gold in the 50m butterfly and Moesha Johnson’s (Southern Cross University) silver in the 1500m freestyle.
The final day of swimming at the Napoli Summer Universaide is on Wednesday 10 July and will feature Chelsea Hodges (Griffith University) in the 50m breaststroke final after qualifying third fastest in 31.17 and Alice Stuart (Griffith University) in the 200m butterfly after finishing 7th in the semifinals in 2:11.41 along with both men’s and women’s 4x100 medley relays.
More from the pool:
After qualifying in the second fastest time, Pheobe Hines (University of Hawaii) finished 5th in the women’s 800m freestyle final in 8:39.49.
Cam Tysoe (University of Wisconsin) finished 5th in the 200m backstroke final in 1:58.95.
Grayson Bell (Griffith University) finished 14th overall in the 50m freestyle semifinal in 22.60.
William Stockwell (University of Queensland) narrowly missed out on the semi-finals in the men’s 50m freestyle, finishing 18th in 22.78.
Zoe Deacon (Monash University) finished 30th women’s 50m breaststroke with a time of 32.88.