Pickett 6th in pool whilst Whittaker hunts for more medals | Day 4 wrap

Dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the 50m breaststroke, Leiston Pickett (Griffith University) finished 6th in the final of the 100m event.

In a tight final which saw the Japanese duo of Kanako Watanabe (1:06.85) and Reona Aoki (1:07.36) go 1-2, Pickett clocked 1:08.21. She will return for her pet 50m event on Friday.

Sian Whittaker (Deakin University) returned to the pool after winning the Uniroos first gold medal of the Games on Monday night in the 200m backstroke to contest to the heats of the 100m backstroke event.

Cruising through in second place in 1:00.91, Whittaker easily qualified for the semi-finals as 5th fastest and improved in the evening with 1:00.53 to move into the final as second fastest qualifier, just .01 behind the USA’s Alexandra De Loof.

“I felt a bit rough this morning in the water, but I’ve gone from 00.9 this morning to 00.5 tonight so I’m happy with that,” Whittaker said.

“My best is 59.9, I’ve only ever been under the minute once so hopefully tomorrow night I can get under that minute again.”

Whittaker has the support of her father Darren in the stands, who is based in Singapore, but has made the trip to Taipei to cheer from the stands and was thrilled.

“My dad has come over for the week. He gave me a big hug (after the gold medal), and there was a big hug from mum as well.”

Hayley Baker (The University of Melbourne) won her heat of the 100m backstroke in 1:01.33 to be 8th fastest overall, however slowed to 1:02.19 in the semis to finish 13th overall.

After finishing 5th in the 100m backstroke, 2013 Universiade and Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medal winner over the 50m backstroke, Ben Treffers (Australian National University) returned for the heats of his favoured event.

Clocking 25.38 for third place in the final heat, he qualified in 8th fastest for the semis and that’s where he’ll be seeded in the final after finishing 3rd in his semi in 25.34.

In other events on day three in the pool:

Kiah Melverton (Griffith University), the bronze medalist in the 800m and 1500m from Gwangju in 2015, lined up in the heats of the 1500m freestyle and comfortably made it through to Wednesday’s final swimming 16:24.95 for 3rd in her heat and 6th fastest overall.

Teammate and world championships open water representative Kareena Lee (University of the Sunshine Coast) finished 5th in her heat in 16:46.63 to place 10th overall.

Nicholas Brown (University of Western Australia) opened the morning for the Uniroos in the heats of the 200m butterfly, finishing 6th in his heat with 2:00.39 and sneaking into the semi’s as 16th fastest. In the evening, he went 2:01.19 to finish 8th and 16th place overall.

Abbey Harkin (Griffith University) lined up in the heats of the 200m individual medley, going 2:17.36 in the heats for 4th place and 11th fastest into the evening semi-finals. She went faster and improved in the semis, going 2:16.98 for 12th place overall.

Alex Milligan (The University of Western Australia) lined up against Olympic champion Dmitriy Balandin (KAZ) in the heats of the 200m breaststroke, with Milligan keeping pace over the first 150m, before finishing 6th in 2:13.94, the 13th fastest into the semis. He went quicker in the semis with 2:13.37 which elevated him to 11th overall.

Diving - 10m synchro platform silver medallists Brittany O’Brien (Western Sydney University) and Emily Meaney (Purdue University) returned to the pool, along with RMIT’s Laura Hingston, for the 10m platform prelims and semi-finals.

Meaney finished 7th (277.00), O’Brien 12th (251.50) and Hingston 18th (208.40) in the prelims to qualify for the semi-finals.

O’Brien produced some excellent dives to finish 2nd behind North Korea’s 2015 world champion Kim Kuk Hyang (365.55) to score 305.80.

Meaney qualified for the final in 11th place with a score of 257.30, whilst Hingston was forced to withdraw due to injury. The final is on Wednesday.

Tennis - After starting her campaign in style on Monday with a straight sets win, US-based Annabelle Andrinopoulos (University of Colorado) faced Krisztina Kapitany (HUN) in the second round and scored a 6-1, 6-4 win. She faces local hope Lee of Chinese Taipei in the third round.

Danielle Wagland (University of Texas) was also granted a bye in the first round and faced Josefina Suraco of Argentina and handed out a double bagel 6-0, 6-0.

Wagland plays KC Chang of Chinese Taipei in the third round, which will be a tough assignment as Chang is ranked 112 in the WTA world rankings.

Andrinopoulos and Wagland combined their talents in the women’s doubles taking on Sri Lanka in the first round, nailing a 6-0, 6-0 win. They take on Great Britain in the 2nd round.

After a first round bye, Nick Horton (North Carolina State) made his on-court debut at the Universiade against big serving Brit Jack Findel-Hawkins, and despite battling hard, went down 6-3, 6-2.

Basketball - After a strong start to the tournament with a win over Lithuania, the Emerging Opals returned to the court to face Argentina and again produced an excellent display to run out convincing winners 69-47.

A tough and physical encounter, the Aussies took it up to the South Americans early, taking a 23 point lead into half time.

Lauren Scherf (Victoria University) and captain Darcee Garbin (James Cook University) were the high scorers for the Uniroos netting 17 and 15 points in an all-round strong team performance. Next up – a big clash in the final pool game against Russia on Wednesday.

The Emerging Boomers had a rest day, before their clash with Israel on Wednesday.

Water Polo – Australia was simply outplayed by a world-class team from the USA in the women’s water polo, losing 17-3 in a tough encounter.

The American team had a number of players who recently represented the national team at the world championships, while Australia, with an average age of 20, couldn’t match it with the team that is now considered favourites for the gold.

After an opening win over Greece followed by a loss to Italy, the Uniroos now sit 4th in pool B with matches against Argentina and France to come.

The United States’ team went into the encounter having smashed their opening two games, defeating France 15-4 and then Argentina 19-1.

"They are all class," said captain and Uniroos flagbearer Pascalle Casey.

"It was very tough out there and unfortunately they were just too good and we couldn't match them."

We're a young team with minimal international experience... and we learnt a lot from this game," Casey added.

The Aussies will lick their wounds before taking on France on Thursday.

Volleyball - After tight opening losses to the Czech Republic and Russia, two tough opponents, the Uniroos faced Hong Kong in a winnable encounter. After taking the first two sets 25-18, 25-16 the Hong Kong outfit lifted to take the next two sets.

In the first to 15 final set, Hong Kong had the edge to deny the Uniroos a first win.

The final score in favour of Hong Kong 18-25, 16-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-13. They Uniroos have Wednesday off, before a final pool game against China on Thursday.

Judo – Queensland University of Technology Law (Honours) student Sam King faced a tough assignment in the men’s Under 73kg judo prelim on Wednesday, losing out to Algerian and eventual fifth placegetter Reda Bougueroua in the men’s -73kg division. King also lost his repechage contest to Moldovian Norin Tatarescu. Fellow Aussie Ellen Wright didn’t have much success either, losing to Italy’s Anna Righetti in the 1/16 final before also losing her repchage to Romanian Oana Nicolaescu.

Fencing - Chris Nagle (University College London) fell to Russian Askar Khamzin in the men’s foil round of 64, 15-8, and will not advance.

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