Sydney University Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder Prashanth Sellathurai secured Australia’s second gold medal of the 2011 World University Summer Games (WUSG) and Sydney University’s first after the first four days of competition.
Sellathurai topped the men’s pommel horse final with a score of 15.700, defeating gymnasts from Belarus, Romania, Slovakia, Korea, Japan and Hungary.
With Vid Hidvegi of Hungary following off the apparatus in the final, Sellathurai was in shock after his victory. “I just don’t know how I made it. I think I’m just lucky,” he said.
Sellathurai will now concentrate on this year’s World Championships. “I am not sure whether I can take part in the Olympics. It depends on my performance in the World Championships,” he said.
In other Sydney University athlete news, promising youngster Anneliese Rubie finished third in her heat of the 400m and qualified for the semi-finals with a time 54.86s. Her heat was won by American Diamond Dixon in 53.67sec.
Fellow track athlete James Nipperess was unlucky to miss out on a spot in the final of the 5000m. Nipperess, who competed in the third and final heat, finished eighth. But despite running faster than the winners of the first two heats, Nipperess (3:47.24) missed the final by two spots.
The Australian women’s basketball team, who Southern Design Sydney Uni Flames star Katie-Rae Ebzery is representing, had comfortable pool match victories over Sweden (Ebzery had 11 points and 4 assists) and Japan (Ebzery had 4 points and 4 assists).
Cyclist Alexander Wong finished 20th in the 160km road race, with a time of 3hr 52:20min – 1:58min behind the winner.
Fencer Nicholas Davies finished 73rd out of 83 in the Individual Epee, where he won one of six bouts.
Sailor Alexandra South was 17th out of 18 in the first completed race of the women’s Laser Radial.
In women’s water polo Australia was defeated 8-6 by the USA – Alicia Brightwell scored 4 goals, while Georgia Clarke scored 2. In their second game the girls thrashed France 15-6, with Brightwell scoring 5, Keesja Gofers 3, and Clarke 2. Australia drew 9-9 in their third game against Mexico. Brightwell, Gofers, and Clarke each scored a goal. Goalkeeper Lea Barta has played all three games.
In men’s water polo Australia comfortably defeated Brazil 11-6, with Lachlan Hollis scoring 2 goals. Scott Nicholson played off the bench. Australia was then defeated by Russia in their second game 8-5. Nicholson got on the score sheet with 1 goal.
Competition will continue until August 23 in Shenzhen, China.