By Tara Congdon
Print Media Editor
After several near-misses throughout the week, American swimmer Samantha Elam finally landed on the podium again, with a bronze in the 800m freestyle Thursday.
Elam qualified for the 800m freestyle Wednesday and on Thursday lopped almost 14 seconds off her preliminary time to come in third in the finals with a time of 9:38.25.
Yue Yue He of China won the gold, with a time of 9:16.38; Anna Tovsta of Ukraine took silver in 9:28.44.
Matthew Klotz, who earlier this week won gold in the 100m backstroke in deaf world record time, also won bronze in the 400m individual medley.
After finishing second in the 400m IM preliminary in 4:48.87, Klotz gunned it in the finals, shaving off seven seconds, but was unable to catch Vitaly Obotin, who took first in 4:34.49, and Ryutaro Ibara, who won silver in 4:39.38.
The men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team took sixth place with a time of 8:24.53. Russia won gold in 7:47.03.
Scott Farrel swam the lead-off leg for the U.S. in 2:05.97. Edward Freeman swam his leg in 2:10.25; Kenneth Freeman, in 2:07.52; and Klotz wrapped it up with a time of 2:00.79.
Peggy Liang placed fifth in the women’s 100m butterfly, with a time of 1:07.40 – less than two seconds behind bronze – but has another chance to medal Friday after qualifying in third place in the women’s 50m freestyle.
In the preliminary, Liang hit the wall just 0.09 seconds behind Ganna Lytvynenko of Ukraine and less than a second behind first-place finisher Aksana Petrushenka of Belarus, who finished in 26.85 seconds.
Liang’s time was 27.51.
The women’s 50m freestyle is the first final of the day Friday; finals are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. in Sofia. Preliminaries start at 9:30 a.m. at Spartak Swimming Arena.