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.