Athletics / World Student Games: US swim to success

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(First Edition)

THE United States made a promising start to the World Student Games, being held on home ground in Buffalo, New York, by taking four of the six available gold medals in the swimming competition. Canada and Cuba shared the difference.

Canada's single gold came from Guylaine Cloutier, who retained the 100m breaststroke title she won in the last games in Sheffield two years ago. Her time of 1min 10.91sec beat Svetlana Bondarenko of Ukraine and Elena Rudkovskaya of Belarus, the reigning women's 100m breaststroke champion, was third. The bronze medallist arrived so late, after a gruelling three-day journey, that she was almost not allowed to compete because of financial and visa problems.

Akira Hayashi, of Japan, clocked a games record of 1:01.94 in the heats of the men's 100m breaststroke but was edged in the final by the American, Jud Crawford.

Crawford won in 1:02.79 while Mario Gonzalez Montesino, of Cuba, was third.

The Cuban team performed well, however. Rodolfo Falcon Cabrera won the men's 200m backstroke, beating Tripp Schwenk of the US, the defending champion, into third place.

But the day's remaining golds went to the host nation. David Fox claimed first place in the men's 100m freestyle, Christine Stephenson added a gold in the women's 800m freestyle while the US women rounded off a successful day with a victory in the 4 x 100m medley relay, finishing ahead of Japan and Canada.

Earlier, Italy had won the first gold of the games, the men's team gymnastics title, beating off the challenge of China and the US. Vitaly Scherbo, who managed six golds in the Barcelona Olympics, could not lift the challenge of Belarus, who finished ninth, five places in front of Great Britain.

In the men's football tournament Great Britain scored a success, beating Italy 3-0.