Australia has notched its second medal of the 2019 Summer Universiade in Napoli after Southern Cross University student Moesha Johnson claimed the silver medal in the women’s 1500m freestyle.
Qualifying second fastest in the heats the day before, Johnson flew out of the blocks in the first 300m before consolidating to produce a time of 16:20.00, finishing only behind Waka Kobori of Japan (16:16.33), and ahead of Molly Ann Kowal (16:20.99) of the United States of America who won the bronze.
It was a battle of endurance for the health student, having to navigate her way through a tough schedule which involved heats taking place the morning prior.
“It was a new experience racing heats, we don’t race heats in the distance events in Australia, so you’ve just got to take it as the field goes,” said Johnson.
“You’ve just got to kind of wing-it I guess, but still be able to control your pace but also be prepared to go out harder or back off a little bit.”
After an eventful meet, Johnson was thrilled to come out with a silver medal for her efforts.
“I’m pretty relieved to just get through my race and race a solid time, and to come home with a medal is pretty awesome.”
Johnson becomes the second medallist at Napoli2019, after Sydney University’s William Yang claimed gold in the men’s 50m butterfly on night three and the 88th Australian swimmer to collect a medal at a Summer Universiade.
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Sophie Caldwell (Deakin University) also qualified for the 1500m freestyle final, finishing in 6th place with a time of 16:39.14.
Caldwell then backed up in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team final. After qualifying 2nd fastest earlier in the morning with 8:11.87, the team of Caldwell, Mikayla Messer (Griffith University), Phoebe Hines (University of Hawaii), Dahlas Rogers (University of Sunshine Coast) improved their time in the final, but saw a swag of teams lift the pace even further to finish in 6th place with a time of 8:09.55.
Bowen Gough (Deakin University) raced in the final of the men’s 200m butterfly final, finishing 8th with a time of 1:58.56.
Ashton Brinkworth (University of Western Australia) just missed out on a place in the final of the men’s 100m freestyle, finishing 9th with a time of 49.58.
Alice Stuart (Griffith University) placed 10th in the women’s 100m butterfly in a time of 59.80, after qualifying for the semi-finals earlier in the morning.
Zoe Deacon (Monash University) just missed the qualification for the semifinals of the 200m breaststroke finishing 17th in 2:31.45.
Joshua Parrish (Griffith University) finished 11th in 8:05.09 and Ben Roberts (Edith Cowen University) finished 12th in 8:08.24 in the 800m freestyle.
Benno Negri (Monash University) finished 43rd in 51.15 in the 100m freestyle preliminaries.
Emerging Opals head to semifinals
Basketball - The Emerging Opals advance to the semi-finals undefeated after an impressive 81-72 win over Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals.
The game brought back memories from 2017 when the two teams matched up in the Championship game where Australia came away with the gold.
As predicted, it was a tight game, but Australia led the entire way.
“Chinese Taipei were a great opponent and played super hard tonight,” coach Shannon Seebohm said.
“We had to earn every point,”
Australia only led by two at three quarter time, but a strong fourth quarter sealed the deal and locked them into an appointment in Monday’s semifinals.
Lauren Scherf (Victoria University) was dominant throughout and finished on 26 points and 11 rebounds. Ezi Magebegor (Deakin University) and Keely Froling (University of Canberra) weren’t far behind, both with 15 points.
“We obviously haven’t been together too long, but every game we are getting better,” Seebohm said.
“I really like where we are headed and where we are going.”
The Emerging Opals will face off against Portugal in the semifinals tomorrow night, Monday 8 July 20:00 CEST (4:00 AEST).
The Emerging Boomers are looking to follow suit in their quarterfinal match tomorrow night, Monday 8 July against Argentina at 17:30 CEST (1:30 AEST).
Diving – Holly Cushing (Australian Catholic University) and Sophie Johnson finished in 8th in the sychronised 3m springboard competition with a total score of 238.50 points. Mexico took the gold with 291.00 points.
Emily Meaney (Purdue University) and Nick Jeffree (University of Technology Sydney) finished in 5th with 272.28 points in the mixed 10m sychronised platform.
Gymnastics – Queensland University of Technology business student Michael Tone finished 6th in the pommel horse apparatus final with a total score of 13.850 and Heath Thorpe followed suit (Queensland University of Technology) finishing 6th in the vault final with a score of 13.800.
Tennis - Australia is through to the round of 16 in the women’s doubles competition, after Kaitlin Staines (University of Tennessee) and Aleksa Cveticanin (Texas Christian University) defeated the team from Sweden of Rebecca Gustafsson and Julia Herlogsson 6-3, 6-2.
After getting off to a slow start, the pair re-grouped to breeze past their opposition in 58 minutes.
“Once we got going we were really grooving I thought,” said Cveticanin.
Staines was proud of the way the girls gelled despite not playing together in some time.
“It’s been a while since we’ve played with each other, so to come out and play well against two top class Swedish girls and execute eventually was good.”
The pair will play their next match against Thailand on Monday 8 July at 13:00 CEST (21:00 AEST).
The men’s doubles pairing of Scott Jones (University of Tennessee) and Kody Pearson (University of Tulas) fell in their round of 32 match to Great Britain 6-2, 4-6, 10-5 in a frantic match that required a third set tie-breaker to determine a winner.
Earlier in the day, Pearson faced off against top-seed Tung-Lin Wu from Chinese Taipei, going down 6-2 6-1 to exit the tournament in the round of 32.
Taekwondo – Elena Zhao from Macquarie University competed strongly in the women’s Poomsae competition, scoring 36.7 in game 1 and 36.9 in game 2 to finish 9th in group A of the women’s competition with a total score of 73.6. Andy Pham (University of Technology Sydney) scored 44.6 in game 1 and 44.0 in game 2 to finish with a total score of 88.6 in group A of the men’s competition to see him finish 11th in the group.
Shooting – Alison Hainrich (University of South Australia) finished 33rd of 39 women’s 10m air pistol.
Water Polo – The women’s water polo faced off in their third match of pool play, going down to the host nation Italy in a gritty affair 9-7. Alice Williams (University of Technology Sydney) was again important for the UniRoos, scoring 2 goals to keep the UniRoos in the game after finding themselves down 6-3 half-way through the third period. The loss leaves Australia with 1 win and 2 losses, with their next and final game of the pool stages against the United States on Monday 8 July at 17:30 CEST (1:30 July AEST).
Table Tennis – It was a better day for the UniRoos table tennis team in the men’s and women’s singles competition, recording two wins. Edward Belokoptyov (UNWS Sydney) was the first player on the board, defeating Estonia’s Toomas Vestli in a tight match 3-2. He was soon followed by Joshua Ip (Macquarie University) who had a convincing 3-0 win over Sri Lanka’s Mewan Abeywickrama. These results saw both Edward and Joshua finish 2nd in their pools. Anthony Majtlis (Monash University) took a set off Diego Finschi, losing 3-1, while Steven Phan (The University of Melbourne) lost 3-0 to Alessandro Di Marino of Italy.
It was a tougher day for the women’s team, with Antonia Zhang (University of Technology Sydney) unable to get over Chloe Thomas of Great Britain losing 3-1, Georgina Newton (University of Tasmania) lost 3-0 to the Czech Republic’s Tamara Tomanova, Madeline Goodsell (Deakin University) lost 3-0 to Mongolia’s Munkhnaran Radnaajamba, and Sarah Tan (The University of Sydney) unable to defeat Georgiana Zaharia of Romania, going down 3-0. Anthony, Antonia, Georgina, Madeline and Sarah all finished 3rd in their groups, while Steven finished 4th.