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USA Swimming Men's 800m Relay Snaps 12-Year-Old World University Games Record

Team USA Swimmers Haul in Five Medals on Fourth Night in Bangkok

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For the seventh time in four days, a U.S. relay broke a World University Games record. The U.S. men’s 800m freestyle relay team shattered the 12-year-old Games mark first in prelims, and lowered the mark in tonight's finals en route to Team USA’s sixth swimming gold medal. The squad of Matt McGinnis, Adam Ritter, Doug Van Wie and Michael Klueh posted a time of 7:13.72 to win the gold in tonight’s final.

“I was really pleased with the results. I think everyone on the relay had something to prove going into it,” said McGinnis. “We all have the goal of making the National A Team [that competed at the World Championships]. I think we had some good chemistry and we all stepped up, and overall I was really pleased.”

Michael Klueh (Evansville, Ind. / Texas) kicked off the night for Team USA, winning silver in the 400m freestyle. In a close race for second place, Klueh went stroke-for-stroke with Sergia Fesenko of the Ukraine and Yury Prilukov of Russia, eventually out-touching the pair to finish second in 3:49.10. Romania’s Dragos Coman led throughout and took gold in a Games-record time of 3:48.29. Prilukov won bronze in 3:49.19.

“Going into this meet, the goal was to win the event,” said Klueh, “I came up just short, but I can’t be too disappointed. I had the best swim I’ve ever had, so I’ll take that.”

Kaitlin Sandeno (Lake Forest, Calif. / Club Wolverine) claimed Team USA’s second silver of the night, finishing the 400m IM in 4:41.57. Gold went to former world record-holder Yana Klochkova in 4:37.50. Klochkova built a convincing lead by the half-way mark, while Sandeno swam in a second place and and easily claimed silver. U.S. teammate Alicia Aemisegger (Oreland, Pa. / Princeton) hung in third place through 350 meters before being overtaken by China’s Xin Zhang who took bronze in 4:42.49. Aemisegger finished fourth in 4:42.82.

The women's 200m freestyle field featured Olympic champion Federica Pelligrini, as well as Americans Kate Dwelley (Brentwood, Calif. / Terrapins) and Erin Reilly (Sacramento, Calif. / Cal-Berkeley). Dwelley who led the pack at the first turn, battled with Slovakian silver medalist Sara Isakovic down the stretch before winning the bronze medal in 1:59.35. Pelligrini won gold in a Games-record time of 1:57.67 while Reilly finished fifth in 2:00.03.

Nick Thoman (Cincinnati, Ohio / Arizona) added to Team USA’s medal haul with a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke. Thoman was in first place at the turn (26.38) but Germany’s Helge Meeuw sped through the back half to take gold in 54.21. Austria’s Markus Rogan turned in a second-half split of 27.27 to claim silver.

“It was a great race. I had my best time by two-tenths, so I’m really excited about that,” said Thoman. “This is my first international meet, so to win two individual bronze medals is just unbelievable – but I hope to do better next time.”

In the women’s 100m backstroke, birthday-girl Brooke Bishop (Los Altos, Calif. / Stanford) turned in a personal best time of 1:02.11 to finish in fourth place. Bishop, who turned 21 today, will swim in the 400m medley relay tomorrow. Japan’s Aya Terakawa took gold in 1:01.50 and Kateryna Zubkova of the Ukraine won silver in 1:01.67. Bronze went to China’s Yanyan Chen in 1:01.89.

“I was a lot more confident tonight,” said Bishop. “I’ve never been on a national team or at an international meet before, so this morning was a lot more nerve wracking, trying to make the top eight … I’ve never been under 1:02 before, and I was 1:02.1 tonight, so I hope during the relay tomorrow I can break it.”

The men's 100m butterfly was also contested tonight, with the gold medal going to Canada's Darryl Rudolf (52.89). Japan's Takashi Tomiyama took silver in 52.97 while Sergii Breus of the Ukraine took bronze in 53.01.

Action resumes at the pool tomorrow with prelims and finals in the men's 400m IM, 200m free and 50m fly, as well as the women's 50m fly, 1500m free and 400m medley relay.

About USA Swimming: As the National Governing Body for competitive swimming in the United States, USA Swimming formulates the rules, implements policies and procedures, conducts national championships, disseminates safety and sports medicine information and selects athletes to represent the United States in international competition. USA Swimming has more than 300,000 members nationwide and sanctions more than 7,000 events each year. For more information, visit USA Swimming on-line.

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