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U.S. opens World University Games with a pair of bronze medals

July 06, 2009, 12:25 a.m. (ET)

BELGRADE, Serbia – The U.S. opened up diving competition at the World University Games with a pair of bronze medals Saturday. 

Auburn teammates Kelly Marx (Overland Park, Kan.) and Daniel Mazzaferro (Cheshire, Conn.) paired for third place in the men’s synchronized 3-meter contest, and Purdue’s Ashley Karnes (Bloomington, Ind.) won the women’s 1-meter bronze. 

Marx and Mazzaferro scored 379.47 to finish behind China’s Wu Minghong and Zhang Sen (404.07) and 2008 Olympic bronze medalists Ilya Kvasha and Oleksiy Prygorov of Ukraine (396.09). The Americans were in fourth place after the fourth of six rounds but scored 70.20 and 75.48 points on their final two dives to move into medal position ahead of the Russian team.

Karnes finished with 277.85 points in the women’s 1-meter finals, earning bronze behind China’s Dong Jun (282.40) and Yao Xinyi (280.25). Karnes was 10th in the preliminaries but then earned a spot in the eight-diver final after winning semifinal A. Indiana’s Brittney Feldman (Indianapolis, Ind.) placed 12th with 236.45 points and Duke’s Abby Johnston (Columbus, Ohio) finished 18th at 226.80.

The diving events run through July 10. Sunday’s competition features men’s 3-meter springboard, with the U.S. represented by Marx, Dwight Dumais (Stanford) and Sean Moore (Ohio State). 

- USA Diving -

Featuring America’s best divers, USA Diving is the national governing body for the sport of diving. Headquartered in Indianapolis, USA Diving offers diversified programs geared toward the broadest number of diving enthusiasts, from the novice to the world champion. USA Diving conducts approximately 40 regional and national events annually and is responsible for training and selecting teams that represent the United States at international events such as the Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cup. For more information, visit www.usadiving.org.