Sweden’s Viktor Johansson and South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker were the headline winners on another exciting night of swimming at the 2019 FISU Summer Universiade in Napoli.
A packed Piscina Scandone saw Johansson win gold in the men’s 1500m freestyle and Schoenmaker land the women’s 100m breaststroke title in what were fascinating contests.
Johansson’s success in particular was such a dominant win that he made the task of longest and undoubtedly the most arduous race in the pool in 15 minutes look effortless.
It also set the tone for an evening in the pool that for once was not completely dominated by Americans.
The 20-year-old Swede had also clocked the fastest time going into the final, but for the first 250m it was USA’s Nicholas Norman who took the lead by half a body length and set the pace. By the 400m mark, Johansson had moved into second and remained comfortably on Norman’s heels until 650m as Italy’s Alessio Occhipinti moved into medal contention, setting off a wave of excitement among the boisterous crowd.
With 500m to go, it was Johansson, Norman and Occhipinti in that order, and although Norman gave himself a big push off the wall at 1000m Johansson immediately sensed the threat and surged further ahead, leading by more than a body length at 1200m. From then on, he extended his lead at every turn and sped away, clocking in at 15:01.76, three seconds off the Universiade record. Occhipinti took silver with Norman having to settle for bronze.
The women’s 100m breaststroke final was one of the most closely contested races of the evening. There was nothing much between Schoenmaker who had won silver in the same event in Taipei two years ago, and two Japanese Mai Fukasawa and Kanako Watanabe at the split. A searing second 50m swum in 31.7 seconds by Schoenmaker was what made the difference as she took gold.
The USA contingent did pick up gold however in the men’s 200m freestyle final and the women’s 100m freestyle where Americans Zach Apple and Gabrielle DeLoof picked up their second gold medals of the Summer Universiade 2019.
In last final of the night, the men’s 200m individual medley, Juran Mizohata displayed astounding power in the last 50m to take gold over Britain’s Joe Richard Litchfield and Chinese Taipei’s Hsing-Hao Wang.
It proved a history-making day for Chinese Taipei in the trap shooting in which host nation Italy also picking up gold medals.
Two golds and one silver medal meant the Chinese Taipei delegation athletes were the biggest winner in the shooting discipline, with Italy also proving a formidable challenger by returning a gold and silver medal, the latter’s success perhaps reflecting why the host country proposed for the sport’s inclusion in this edition of the event.
During the Trap Mixed final at ASD Tiro a Volo Zaino, team Chinese Taipei’s Wan-yu LIU and Kun-pi YANG posted the morning round’s high score of 149, just one point away from full mark. In the final, however, the Italian duo of Simone D’Ambrosio and Fiammetta Rossi came out on top, 42-36 over the Chinese Taipei team.
Liu and Yang’s silver follows after the Chinese Taipei captured the gold medal 24 hours earlier in the individual trap shooting competition, the first victory in this event in the delegation’s history. The Chinese Taipei duo were aiming to win another gold medal for their team, but the silver medal in trap mixed is still the best in team history. Liu made 75 successive shots during the event’s qualification round, a personal best performance.
Meanwhile, in the final of men’s 10m Air Rifle it was a competition of shooting skills and composure. Before the final shot, Patrik Jany from Slovakia was just 0.1 point ahead of his rival Hajun Park from Republic of Korea. The duel between the two was exciting for all the spectators at Pav.3 in Mostra d’Oltremare. For the final shot, Jany got 10.1 to take gold, as Park ended with 9.3. Bronze medalist, Russia’s Evgenii Panchenko broke the Universiade qualification record with a stunning 630.1. The previous record was set by Russian athlete Nazar Luginets.
The shooting competitions continues today (7 July) with women’s 10m air pistol and mixed 10m air rifle.
It was a special Saturday for Japan’s gymnasts at the PalaVesuvio Hall in Napoli, as they proved unbeatable in artistic gymnastics by taking gold in the men’s and women’s all-around individual events
There was a dramatic final in the men’s all-around competition in artistic gymnastics, with 18 men successfully going through the qualification sessions to fight for the individual gold medal.
Japan’s Kazuma Kaya secured his first place from the very beginning and ended up with a score of 87.000, while Russia’s Ivan Stretovich (84.375) and Chinese Taipei’s Chih-Kai Lee (83.950) had to improve their scores significantly to get silver and bronze respectively. A mistake from Japan’s Kakeru Tanigawa on the horizontal bar at the end of his campaign cost him a place on the podium.
In the women’s final, Hitomi Hatakeda took gold for Japan with a score of 53.925, ahead of the Russian pair of Uliana Perebinosova with silver and Liliia Akhaimova taking bronze with both gymnasts on the same score of 52.700.
Today (7 July), athletes will be competing in individual-apparatus events. That will be the last day when medals in artistic gymnastics will be contested at the 30th Summer Universiade before a few days break. The PalaVesuvio sports center will open doors again on 11 July for the competitors in rhythmic gymnastics.
Japan’s delegation also had further reasons to smile on Saturday as their women resumed the domination of the judo competitions thanks to triumphs by Ryoko Takeda and Maya Akiba at Mostra d’Oltremare.
With one day to go in the judo competition, Japan has now captured five gold medals and one silver in six women’s events, with the men’s team earning one of each colour for their three medals,.
In an interesting twist, the one Japanese woman who had settled for silver earlier in the tournament avenged that loss on Day 3. In the women’s open final, Akiba edged Han Mi-jin in extra time after the referee issued a third non-combativity warning to the South Korean, resulting in her disqualification. The two rivals had met in the +70 kg title match on Thursday, with Han prevailing by ippon. Sebile Akbulut of Turkey and Brazil’s Sibilla Faccholli claimed the bronze medals.
The women’s -52 kg final was also a duel between Japan and South Korea, and also required overtime.In the extra period, Takeda needed medical attention twice for a minor head injury. Mere seconds after the second timeout, she scored a waza-ari against Universiade veteran Park Da-sol, the 2017 bronze medallist at -52 kg.
In men’s action, Denis Vieru of Moldova defeated Japan’s Ranto Katsura in the -66 kg final. Making his second straight FISU Games appearance, Vieru had experience on his side against an opponent five years his junior. The final was closely contested but Vieru finally prevailed thanks to a waza-ari midway through regulation time. The bronze medals went to Willian Lima of Brazil (-66 kg), Ismail Chasygov of Russia (-66 kg).
Galymzhan Krikbay of Kazakhstan took the gold medal over France’s Hadrien Livolsi in the open category with Jur Spijkers of the Netherlands and Davlat Bobonov of Uzbekistan taking the bronze medals.