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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 08:13, August 18, 2005
U.S. rules swimming, China dominates diving at Universiade
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The United States swept half of the last eight swimming golds on offer at the 23rd World Universiade on Wednesday as China continued to dominate the diving competitions by bagging both titles up for grab.

Cullen Jones, Maritza Correia won the men's and women's 50m freestyles and Justin Mortimer and Megan Jendrick struck golds in the men's 1,500m freestyle and women's 100m breaststroke to complete the Americans' golden run in the swimming pool.

Ukraine's swimmers also went home happily with latest victoriesin the men's 50m breaststroke and men's 4x100m medley relay while Otylia Jedrzejczak of Poland and Japanse Aya Terakawa split the other two titles distributed on Wednesday in the women's 200m butterfly and women's 200m backstroke.

As the swimming competition of the 23rd Universiade lowered itscurtain after six days' exciting races, with 15 Universiade records renewed in the Manisa Swimming Pool, the United States took the lion's share by winning 11 gold medals, nine silvers and five bronzes, followed by Poland with six golds and two bronzes, while Asian country Japan, with five golds, six silvers and nine bronzes, squeezed for a third place at the overall medal tally.

The three countries pocketed more than half of the golds on offer, especially the United States who made a haul of three and four golds separately on Day Five and Day Six.

China, who dispatched 19 swimmers here, clinched two golds and two bronzes to rank seventh at the medal table. 20-year-old Qi Hui, 2002 world champion (short-course) and former world record holder in the women's 200m breaststroke, claimed the two titles inthe women's 200m and 400m individual medley and one third place finish in the 200m breaststroke. The remaining bronze went to ZhaoTao in the men's 200m individual medley. Both swimmers came from Tianjin Industry University.

"We have fulfilled our task," Chinese team manager Tian Jianjunsaid, "The competition here was really stiff, but with two golds, we're satisfied."

American Eric Shanteau, champion in the men's 200m and 400m individual medleys, became the best male swimmer in terms of overall strength.

As for Poland, who suffered an anticlimax, came by two golds inDay One and Day Two apiece, but fell to claim only two titles in the rest four days.

Poland, who has sent its national team members, was parallel inits men's and women's strength, with three golds and one bronze from each side. Out of its six titles, four came from 200m, one from 100m and the rest from 800m.

Japan, with several national team swimmers coming here, put on a medal-winning show. Like in the Athens Olympic Games, Japan stood in the third place as well. However, Japan bagged 20 medals,only five fewer than the United States. While in Athens, the Americans won 20 medals more than Japan.

The Universiade wrestling also wound up on Wednesday as Ali Ashkani of Iran, Turkish Seref Tufenk and Margulan Assembekov of Kazakhstan won the 60kg, 74kg and 96kg men's Greco-Roman titles respectively.

Japan, host Turkey and the United States bagged home one half of the 21 gold medals offered in the five-day wrestling competitions.

Japan had four gold medals, and both Turkey and the United States took three apiece. The Japanese titles were all from its women wrestlers; the United States also struck its three golds through its men entries, and all from the freestyle, while Turkey had two from the Greco-Roman categories and one from the men's freestyle.

Turkey exploited its hosting place to put the wrestling competitions into the agenda of the 23rd World Universiade. Although ranked second in the gold tally, Turkey still beat Japan to second in the number of medals.

The real question that every viewer carries for the 23rd Universiade diving competition is not "Will China win another goldtoday?" but "Is it possible that China can not score another gold?"

Li Ting/Mo Hanna, and Wang Feng claimed the women's 10m platform synchronized and the men's one-meter springboard here Wednesday.

Li and Wang, both collected two gold medals, helped China clinch all the six titles of the 10 diving events so far.

Mo Hanna and Li Ting, who just won the women's 10m platform Wednesday, led after each round of the five-dive final and finished the show with a splendid three and a half somersault in tuck position, denied any chance for their competitors to take over their position.

The duo took home the gold with a total of 344.34 points. DPR Korean divers Hong In Sun/Choe Kum Hui won the silver with 319.26 points and Mexican Espinoza Paola/Luna Jashia clinched the bronze with 312.78 points.

In the men's one-meter springboard, Chinese diver Wang Kenan, who made his debut for the one-meter springboard, made two small mistakes in his first dives, but retrieved his confidence and stability to scored a total 263.16 points to climb from the last to the second position when US diver Colwell Christopher had one major gaffe in his fifth dive.

Another Chinese diver Wang Feng, the just-crowned king for the men's three-meter springboard, continued his stability of performance and good form in the final dives, never missing any ofhis dives to clinch his second triumph with a total score of 467.88 points.

Wang Kenan scored 406.86 points for the silver and Brazilian diver Castro Cesar won the bronze with 403.89 points.

In track and field, seven countries and regions split a total of seven golds produced on Wednesday.

Jamaican Marvim Essor crossed the line first in the men's 400m final with 45.99 seconds to land the first gold medal of his country at the Universiade. Compatriot Dwayne Barrett finished second in 46.14 ahead of bronze medalist Yuki Yamaguchi of Japan.

The women's 400m title went to Russian Natalya Nazarova, who notched a seasonal best time of 51.31. Senegal's Fatou Bindtou Fall took the silver with 51.33 while Kazakhstan's Tatyana Roslanova was awarded the bronze on 52.46.

The men's and women's 3,000m steeplechase titles were carved upbetween host runner Halil Akkas and Livia Toth of Hungary, who clocked 8:30.16 and 9:40.37 respectively.

Earlier on Wednesday, Latvian A. Kovals crowned in the men's javelin throw with 80.67 meters and G. Kanter of Estonia triumphedin the men's discus throw with 65.29. The remaining gold was takenhome by Julia Hutter of Germany, who won the women's pole vault with 4.25 meters.

In the fencing tournament, Ukraine took home the men's epee team gold by beating France 45-30 while Russia defeated Japan 45-38 in the women's sabre team final.

Ukraine, starring Dmytro Chumak, Dmytro Karuchenko and Maksyum Khvorost, kept the lead throughout the final over the French trio of Gauthier Grumier, Benoit Janvier and Jean-Michel Lucenay.

Russia, which knocked out Switzerland for a third-place finish in the men's epee team, won the gold on the same day in the women's sabre team event.

Fielding Ekaterina Fedorkina, Svetlana Kormilitsyna and Elena Netchaeva, Russia triumphed over the Japanese team of Sakura Kaneko, Haruko Nakamura and Seir Nakayama in the gold medal bout. Poland beat Ukraine to take the bronze in the women's action.

Taekwondo powerhouse South Korea collected two golds as Nam Yoon-Bae reaped the men's 84kg title over Mehdi Navai S of Iran and Lee Sung-Hye beat Spain's Andrea Rica in the women's 59kg final.

Patiwat Tongsalap secured the men's 72kg championship, the veryfirst for Thailand at the Universiade, and Yvonne Oude Luttikhuis of Netherlands pocketed the women's 72kg gold.

After Wednesday's finals, China climbed up to the top of the medal table with 15 golds, 10 silvers and eight bronzes. Japan wassecond with 15 golds, eight silvers and 16 bronzes while the United States stood third on 14 golds, 11 silvers and 12 bronzes.

Source: Xinhua

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