By CAMIRAN MOORE, UK Athletics
NAPLES, Italy – Earning a silver medal for the United States team, University of Kentucky swimmer Asia Seidt reset the 200-meter backstroke school record and her personal-best time in 2:08.56 in the championship event at the 2019 World University Games on Friday.
“I am happy to medal for USA and go 1-2 with my teammate Lisa,” Seidt said. “Being able to wear the USA flag on my cap has truly been an honor. I am looking forward to cheering on our team for the next couple of days and then head back to Lexington.”
The USA team swept first and second place in the 200m backstroke, as former Texas A&M swimmer Lisa Bratton took gold and reset the World University Games record in 2:07.91. It was just Thursday in the semifinals that Seidt snapped the 10-year record in the event, finishing first in 2:08.81. The initial record was set by Stephanie Proud of Great Britain in 2009 on a mark of 2:08.91.
Earning her first medal at the Games, Seidt’s 2:08.56 recorded in the championship event is the fifth fastest earned by an American swimmer in 2019. In front of her is Hali Flickinger (2:08.36), Kathleen Baker (2:08.08), Lisa Bratton (2:07.91) and Regan Smith (2:06.47).
In 2017, then-sophomore Seidt finished fourth in the 200m backstroke in 2:10.31 in Taipei, Taiwan.
UK swimming and diving head coach Lars Jorgensen was one of eight coaches selected as an assistant coach for the United States team. It marked his third appearance at the Games – Tina Bechtel (2015), Bridgette Alexander (2017) and Seidt (2017, 2019).
The United States team is currently leading the swimming division with eight medals – five gold, two silver and one bronze. Japan follows with five medals, while Russia is in second with three medals. The Games’ swimming events will run through July 9.
The 52-member swim team representing the U.S. is made up of swimmers from 17 college programs. The Games’ organizing committee invited 202 countries to attend the biannual event. In 2017, it attracted 145 countries.