KAZAN, RUSSIA —
Indiana State forward Manny Arop doesn’t play hockey, but he has a chance to eliminate the United States from the World University Games in his chosen sport — men’s basketball.
Yes, men’s basketball.
Canada rolled into its final game of Group C unbeaten after its 87-56 victory over the Czech Republic on Thursday. Arop did not play in the contest.
While the Canadian team remained undefeated, the United States dropped a 93-84 decision to Australia in Group C play. Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell had 10 points in the game. Three-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year Doug McDermott of Creighton led the United States with 22 points.
Canada plays the United States at 5 a.m. today and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU. Canada will advance to the medal round with a victory or even a close loss. The United States must win by 10 points or more to advance.
Arop has played in Canada’s three previous games — wins against Sweden, United Arab Emirates and Australia.
• Johnson 7th, Swift falls — Indiana State’s Felisha Johnson competed in her first international competition as she placed seventh in the finals of the women’s shot put while Greggmar Swift, competing for his native Barbados, had a disappointing finish to his competition as he fell in the finals of the men’s 110-meter hurdles Thursday.
Johnson’s best throw in the final round came on her third attempt and went 57 feet, 3 inches which advanced her to the final three throws. However, she was unable to better that mark to finish in seventh place.
“It would have been nice to see her throw farther but it was a good effort,” ISU throws coach Erin Gilreath said.
“I don’t think she has ever competed in that style of a competition either where you have a qualifying round one day and the final the next day aside from the Olympic Trials last year.”
Gilreath believes that the experience with the championship format will serve her well in the future.
“This year she got small taste of what she is capable of in the shot. It is going to take a big commitment to change something and be uncomfortable for a while kin order for her to really reach that next level she needs to be at to be competitive internationally.”
Irina Tarsova of Russia took the gold medal.
Swift hit the sixth hurdle with his lead foot and fell in the finals of the men’s 110 hurdles as he failed to finish a race for the first time in his career.
“He was pressing and that happens to great hurdlers in big races,” said men’s track coach John McNichols. “That is part of the adjustment to compete in the big time. You have to adjust to the pressure and run under control between the white stripes. He pressed and tried to run faster between the hurdles and that gets you into trouble. He hit with his lead foot which is not good for hurdler and this is the first time that I have seen him fall in a race.”
Eddie Lovett of the Virgin Islands won the gold medal.
Swift is not the first Sycamore to fall in the finals of the 110 hurdles in the World University Games. Indiana State’s Aubrey Herring reached the finals at the 2001 Games in Beijing, China and fell during the race. Frankie Young is the only other member of the Indiana State men’s team to compete at the World University Games as he placed 10th in the long jump at the 1999 Games in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Johnson is the first member of the women’s track & field team to compete in the World University Games.