NAPOLI, Italy – After twice lowering the World University Games record, Alabama swimming and diving’s Zane Waddell surged to a gold medal in the 50-meter backstroke Sunday in Napoli, Italy.

Waddell, swimming for South Africa, tied for top honors with the United States’ Justin Ress, with both clocking a 24.48 in finals. Waddell broke the WUG records in prelims with a time of 24.54. In the semifinals, Ress bettered the new mark, going 24.52 in the first heat of the semifinals. Moments after his prelims record fell, Waddell reclaimed the mark, going 24.46, which ranks him fourth in the world this year.

Waddell led Alabama to 200 medley relay titles at both the Southeastern Conference and NCAA Championships in the spring.

Robert Howard won gold on day one of the World University Games, when the Alexander City, Ala., native swam the third leg on Team USA’s 400m freestyle relay.

Every two years, student-athletes from around the world compete in multiple sports at the games.

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