Brittany O’Brien (Western Sydney University) and US-based Emily Meaney (Purdue University) have collected the Uniroos first medal of the Games, winning silver in the 10m synchronised platform diving.
The duo only recently came together for the Games and had only three practice sessions together, but put together a strong series of dives to win silver with a personal best total of 297.84, just 5.70 points behind the crack People’s Republic of Korea outfit of Kim Kuk Hyang and Kim Un Hang who won gold with 303.54. Russia won the bronze with a score of 263.07.
The PRK pair were strong favourites with Kim Kuk Hyang creating history as a 15-year-old in 2015 by becoming North Korea’s first ever world champion.
O’Brien, 19, a design student of Western Sydney University, was a last-minute addition to the Rio Olympic team last year, leads the young Australian diving team in Taipei. One of the youngest competitors in Rio, O’Brien put her year 12 studies on hold to travel to Rio and advanced through the preliminary round to place 15th at her debut Games.
Meaney, 20, is based in Queensland when not pursuing her diving at Purdue University in the US.
“We’ve only competed together once,” O’Brien said, with Meaney adding… “we are training in different states and come together occasionally for synchro.”
“We take every chance we get when we are together,” O’Brien said.
“We were happy with all our dives, they were pretty consistent with what we’ve been doing in training so it was nice to get a consistent list off,” Meaney said.
Both will return on Tuesday for the individual 10m platform event.
In other action on day three:
Basketball – After a close loss to Ukraine in their opening pool match, the Emerging Boomers triumphed against their Lithuanian opponents in a thrilling match, prevailing 84-82.
The Uniroos led by 16 points heading into the final term, surviving a late scare and some crucial shots missed by Lithuania in the dying seconds.
University of Miami’s Dejan Vasiljevic starred for the Australians, scoring 28 points including 6 from 10 three pointers. As in the opening match, Xavier Cooks (Winthrop University) was also critical, contributing 20 points and 6 rebounds.
The Emerging Boomers, who were perhaps inspired by their senior counterparts win in the Asian Cup overnight, will now face Israel in their next pool D match on Wednesday at 5:00pm AEST.
The Emerging Opals have made the perfect start to their 2017 Universiade campaign, downing their first opponents Lithuania by 7 points, 78-71.
After an even first quarter, the Emerging Opals made strong headway in the second term to lead by 10 going into half-time. Extending that lead by three at 3 quarter time, the Australians didn't look back, running out comfortable winners despite a few ‘junk time’ goals from Lithuania.
The women’s next assignment is Argentina who fell to Russia today on Tuesday at 17:30 local time.
Water Polo - After an opening pool match win over Argentina, and a second match loss to Italy, the Uniroos went in search of second win against the Netherlands. After a slow start in which the Dutch piled on four goals to one in the first quarter the Uniroos fought back to trial 5-4 at half time.
A tight third term had the score line at 6-5 at the final break in favour of the Dutch, who pulled clear in the final quester to win 9-5. The men now head to the cross-over pool preliminaries on Wednesday. The Australian women play the USA on Tuesday.
Tennis - US-based Annabelle Andrinopoulos (University of Colorado) started her Universiade campaign in style, accounting for Hungarian Krisztina Kapitany in straight sets 6-1, 6-4. Converting 4 from 4 break point opportunities, Andrinopoulos will now face Chinese Taipei’s Ya-Hsuan Lee.
Danielle Wagland (University of Texas) was granted a bye in the first round and will face Argentina’s Josefina Surraco in the round of 32. Nick Horton (North Carolina State) was afforded the same opportunity, and will face Britain’s Jack Findek-Hawkins on Tuesday morning.
Andrinopoulos and Wagland will also combine talents in the women’s doubles taking on the Hong Kong pair of Chong and Ip not before 14:00 on Tuesday.
Volleyball – After an opening defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic in three sets the young Uniroos outfit put on another gallant display against a much more fancied Russia. An epic opening set Aussies saw the Russians final get an advantage 33-31, before taking the next two sets 25-21, 25-20. The next match is against Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Judo – In a high standard judo competition, Maeve Coughlan (Victoria University) lost to Umiraliyeva of Kazakhstan in the Under 63kg round of 16 preliminaries 1-0. In the Under 70kg event, Naomi De Bruin (Australian College of Physical Education) reached the quarter finals where she lost to Ausma of the Netherlands 1-0.
Taekwondo – University of Canberra duo Katarina Pavkovic and Kyle Knowles finished a credible 14th in the mixed team poomsae event.
Fencing - Australian fencers Victoria Mentor (RMIT University) and Georgina Barratt (University of South Australia) competed in the women’s foil finishing 52nd and 58th respectively out of the 65 competitors. Mentor was 5th in her pool, while Barratt finished 6th.