KAZAN, RUSSIA —
Indiana State’s Felisha Johnson advanced to the final round of the women’s shot put in the World University Games with the third best throw in the qualification rounds Wednesday in Central Stadium.
Johnson is competing in her first international competition as a member of Team USA and is the first female athlete from Indiana State to compete in track and field at the World University Games.
The Sycamore competed in the second qualification group with her best throw going 57-9 3/4 inches, which put her second in her group and third overall to automatically advance to the final round today.
China’s Xiangrong Liu won the first group and leads the field into the finals with a throw of 59-1 1/16 with Russia’s Irina Tarasova winning the second group and currently second overall with a throw of 58-3 1/4.
The finals will start at 10:50 a.m. EDT today (7:50 p.m. Russian Standard Time).
“She performed very well, especially in the face of adversity leading up to today’s qualifying round,” ISU throws coach Erin Gilreath said. “She was without her luggage until last night. She showed a lot of competitive maturity by being able to adjust and roll with the punches which is a big part of becoming a capable international competitor at the next level.”
Johnson has been training on her own since June 26 in preparation for the World University Games.
“I gave her a training plan to follow and put my trust in her to do what I asked of her and what was needed to do,” Gilreath said. “For the final I just told her to let loose, let it all out and for her to just enjoy the experience.
Also advancing to the shot-put finals for Team USA was Southern Illinois graduate Jeneva McCall, who had a throw of 55-9, the eighth best through the first round. McCall is already a gold-medal winner in the World University Games as she captured the women’s hammer throw, her best event, Wednesday with a throw of 241-11.
• Arop keeps Canada unbeaten — Indiana State forward Manny Arop has helped Canada achieve a 3-0 record in men’s basketball Group C play at the World University Games.
On Monday, Arop scored 14 points on 5 of 5 shooting as Canada dismantled United Arab Emirates 137-43. Arop played a game-high 20 minutes for the Canadian team and was also 3 of 3 from 3-point range with six rebounds and three assists.
On Wednesday, Arop scored two points in Canada’s 92-83 win over Australia. Arop played nine minutes and was 1 of 2 from the field with a pair of rebounds. He also had two turnovers.
Canada plays the Czech Republic today and the United States on Friday to wrap up pool play.
• Also in competition today will be Indiana State hurdler Greggmar Swift who will be running in the men’s 110-meter hurdles for his native Barbados. The first three rounds of the 110 hurdles will start at 9:10 a.m. EDT followed by the semifinals. The finals will run at 1:20 p.m.
Swift is the third member of the ISU men’s track & field family to compete in the World University Games. Frankie Young placed 10th in the long jump at the 1999 World University Games in Palma de Mallorca, Spain while Aubrey Herring, who competed in the 110 hurdles in the 2001 Games at Beijing, China.
Swift ran his personal best of 13.48 seconds in placing second at the Barbados National Championship in June and also has the opportunity to compete for Barbados in the World Championships at Moscow this August.
The XXVII Summer Universiade is being in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, through July 17. The Universiade, also known as the World University Games, is organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Games will be televised on ESPN3. The schedule follows:
Today, 10 a.m. EDT: http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/id/1028921/world-university-games-track-field
Friday, 10 a.m. EDT: http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/id/1028933/world-university-games-track-field