William Yang (The University of Sydney) claimed Australia’s first medal of the 2019 Napoli Summer Universaide taking gold in the 50m butterfly.
Yang qualified fastest and produced a blistering swim to win in 23:32, edging out Yuya Tanaka of Japan by just 0.03 seconds. Grigori Pekarski of Belarus was third in 23.35.
The architecture and planning student was able to feed off of the energy of the crowd before his race to get him going.
“I really enjoy the team environment here and I heard obviously the crowd and my teammates and coaches cheer for me so that got me energised,” Yang said after the win.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing.
“During the race I reckon I panicked a bit… maybe because of the adrenaline I just stayed focused and kept going,” Yang said.
Yang joins a prestigious list of swimming gold medallists at the World University Games including Mark Kerry, Graeme Brewer, Susie and Rob Woodhouse, Jon Seiben and Cate Campbell. He becomes the 87th Australian swimmer to win a medal and the 23rd gold medallist.
The 20-year-old isn’t done yet, he is scheduled to compete in the 50m backstroke on Saturday 6 July, the event that he beat Commonwealth Games medallist Mitch Larkin in at the 2019 Australian Swimming Championships.
More from the pool:
Griffith University student Chelsea Hodges is through to the final of the 100m breaststroke qualifying 7th in 1:07.94.
Queensland University of Technology student Jared Gilliland is through to the final of the 200m individual medley qualifying in 6th in 2:00.49.
Both Joshua Parrish (Commerce, Griffith University) and Ben Roberts (Science, Edith Cowen University) qualified for the 1500m freestyle final, Parrish in 7th in 15:23.24 and Roberts in 8th in 15:23.40.
The finals for the women’s 100m breaststroke, men’s 200m individual medley and men’s 1500m freestyle will take place on Saturday 6 July from 18:00 CEST (2:00 AEST). All the semifinals and finals will be broadcast on Eurosport and the FISU live stream.
Julia Hawkins (Monash University) just missed the final in the 100m freestyle finishing tied for 10th in 56.18.
Olympian Jacob Hansford (Australian College of Physical Education) missed the final of the 200m freestyle finihsing in 10th in 1:49.37.
Ashton Brinkworth (University of Western Australia) didn’t qualify for the 200m freestyle semifinals finishing 7th in his heat in 1:51.02.
Monash University arts student Zoe Deacon kicked off her 2019 Napoli Universiade campaign in the 100m breaststroke finishing in 1:10.87, missing out on the semifinals by .10 seconds.
Basketball – The Emerging Boomers have rebounded strongly after a disappointing loss to Israel yesterday, beating Mexico 105-62 at the Palacercola in their second pool match.
Looking to make amends for yesterday’s loss against the gold medal favourites, the Emerging Boomers, came out of the blocks firing, racing out to a 32-15 quarter time lead. The team kept that momentum going into the second quarter led by guard Dejan Vasiljevic (Miami University) who scored 20 first half points to give Australia a 28-point advantage going into halftime.
A 32-point third quarter then allowed head coach Rob Beveridge to share the minutes around amongst the squad in the final quarter, with all 12 UniRoos seeing action, as the game closed out with Australia taking the victory by 43 points.
Four players scored in double digits with Vasiljevic leading with 20 followed by Stanford’s Isaac White with 15 who was four-for-six from the three-point line.
Coach Beveridge was pleased with the way his team responded after a tough day yesterday.
“We were going up against one of the most drilled, athletic, hard-nosed teams I’ve been up against, and they simply taught us a lesson,” Beveridge said of Israel.
“But it was good for us to get our asses kicked to show that if we’re going to compete then this is how we have to play.”
“We have some tough-minded players who were disappointed with their efforts, and it’s not the Australian way to be kicked like we were last night, so it was important that we responded with a better aggressive mindset the way we did.”
Beveridge was also optimistic that the team will continue to improve as the competition progresses.
“It’s really difficult to go into a world championship like this where the preparation is so short. We’ve only had four hours together training,” Beveridge said.
“As we go along, I think we will get better, if we continue to go out with that type of mindset, with the trapping and setting and running, and I think that is who we are as Australians.”
The Emerging Booms take on the Czech Republic in their final pool match tomorrow, Saturday 6 July at 20:00 CEST (4:00 AEST), where a win will guarantee a place in the quarter finals.
Emerging Opals through to knockout as title defence continues
The Emerging Opals have continued their winning ways, getting over the line against China in a tight 90-84 encounter. Locked 50-50 at half-time, the UniRoos came out strong in the third quarter, creating a six-point lead to get them over the line. The University of Canberra’s Abigail Wehrung led the way with 27points, while Ezi Magbegor (Deakin University) added 21points to go along with 14 rebounds. The victory guarantees the Emerging Opals top spot in Group D and a place in the quarter finals that begin on Sunday 7 July.
Click here to read the full Basketball Australia report.
Tennis – University of Tulsa’s Kody Pearson cruised through his opening match of the 2019 Napoli Summer Universiade beating Christian Meier of Liechtenstein 6-1, 6-0 on the clay court overlooking the water.
“At the start of the match I was just trying to find my feet. It’s been over a year since I’ve played a match on clay since I’ve been over in America for college,” Pearson said.
“It’s a bit of a change up but I was comfortable last time I was here, so it didn’t take long until I found my feet.”
Click here to see the interview with Pearson post-match.
Texas Christian University’s Aleksa Cveticanin dropped her first match to Ana Filipa Santos from Portugal 6-4, 7-6.
Shooting - Australian flag-bearer Sergei Evglevski (Victoria University) began his Napoli 2019 campaign in the men’s 10m air pistol qualification finishing 20th out of 32 with a score of 565-18x. Bailey Groves (University of Tasmania) also competed in the same event, finishing 26th with a score of 560-10x with neither qualifying for the final. Sergei and Bailey will team up to compete in the 10m Mixed Pistol Event on Tuesday 9th July.
Table Tennis - The women’s table tennis team have notched their first win of Napoli 2019, defeating Estonia 3-2 in their final pool game. Sarah Tan (The University of Sydney) started off strong, winning her first match 3-1, before Antonia Zhang (University of Technology Sydney) and Madeline Goodsell (Deakin University) rounded out the victory with hard-fought wins. In their second match of the day the team lost to Japan 3-0.
In the men’s competition, the team of Edward Belokopytov (UNSW Sydney), Steven Phan (The University of Melbourne), Joshua Ip (UNSW Sydney) went down 3-0 to Italy to finish their pool play. The teams will now turn their focus to the individual and doubles competitions which begin on Sunday 7th July.
Judo – Victoria University’s Maeve Coughlan competed well in the women’s 63kg competition. The science student lost her first bout in the round of 32 but made up for it with a win in the repacharge round of 16 before succumbing to her opponent from Russia in the repacharge round of eight.
Fencing – Freya Clarke (University of New South Wales) kicked off her Napoli 2019 campaign in the women’s foil event, posting 2V4D in pools before losing to Kraenkl of Austria 15-11 in the round of 64 and finishing in 37th place.
Diving – The fourth day of diving kicked off with the women’s 3m Springboard event featuring Holly Cushing (Australian Catholic University) and Sophie Johnson (The University of Melbourne). Holly advanced to the semi-finals in 14th position with a score of 236.30, while Sophie placed 21st with a score of 192.90, just missing out on the semifinal. The semifinal and final will be held on Saturday 6 July at 10:00 CEST (18:00 AEST).
Holly was back on deck a short time later, pairing up with Nick Jeffree (University of Technology Sydney) to finish 9th with a total of 219.18 in the final of the 3m mixed synchronized springboard. The semi-final of the women’s 3m Springboard will take placed tomorrow morning (Saturday 6th July) at 10:00 CEST (18:00 AEST).
Water Polo - In the women’s water polo competition, the UniRoos went down to an in form Russian team 17-7. The goals were shared around with four players on the scoresheet led by Alice Williams (University of Technology Sydney) with three. The loss leaves the UniRoos in 3rd place in group B with two games to play in the group stage, with their next game against Italy on Sunday 7 July at 19:30 CEST (3:30 AEST).
The men fell to the host nation 18-5. Italy came out strong score four unanswered goals in the first quarter and never looked back leading the entire game. The men continue their 2019 campaign on Monday 8 July against Hungry at 17:30 CEST (1:30 AEST).