2019 World University Games: Day 7 Finals Live Recap


Tonight is the final night of swimming at the 2019 World University Games. Tonight’s finals will feature the men’s and women’s 50 freestyles, the women’s 50 breaststroke, the women’s 200 butterfly, the men’s 400 IM, the women’s 400 freestyle, and the men’s and women’s 4 x 100 medley relays.

100 and 200 WUGs breaststroke champion Tatjana Schoenmaker from South Africa will try to make it 3-for-3 with a berth in the final of the women’s 50 breaststroke tonight. Schoenmaker is the 7th-seed and will race out of lane 1. The top seed in the women’s 50 breast is Brazil’s Jhennifer Alves. Brazil is so far without a gold medal at this year’s swimming competition.

Germany’s Jessica Felsner leads the women’s 50 free with a 25.01, just ahead of USA’s Ky-Lee Perry (25.11) and Great Britain’s Emily Barclay (25.13). The men’s 50 free is led by Britain’s David Cumberlidge with a 22.05. USA’s Zach Apple tied for the 6th-seed in semifinals yesterday, and has already won the 100 and 200 freestyles at this competition.

Americans Dakota Luther and Olivia Carter lead the women’s 200 fly, but are sure to receive pressure from the 3rd-seed, Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato, who will soon be off to the World Championships in Gwangju, where she will race the 200 and 400 IM.

The only events swum in this morning’s prelims were the women’s 400 freestyle, the men’s 400 IM, and the men’s and women’s 4 x 100 medley relays. Team USA’s Kaersten Meitz took the top seed in the women’s 400 freestyle with a 4:13.08, while countryman Sean Grieshop produced the fastest time in the prelims of the mens 400 IM with a 4:15.40.

The United States is mixing things up a bit with its relay picks for the men’s medley, putting backstroke/IM specialist John Shebat on the butterfly leg of the relay. Team USA’s men’s medley lineup will consist of: Justin Ress (backstroke), Ian Finnerty (breaststroke), John Shebat (butterfly), and Zach Apple (freestyle). The women’s team will be: Katharine Berkoff (backstroke), Emily Escobedo (breaststroke), Dakota Luther (butterfly), and Gabby DeLoof (freestyle).


  • World Record – 23.67, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2017
  • Meet Record – 24.48, Aleksandra Gerasimenya (BLR), 2013
  1. Ky-Lee Perry (USA), 25.08
  2. Jessica Felsner (GER), 25.12
  3. Emily Barclay (GBR), 25.15

American Ky-Lee Perry overtook top-seed Jessica Felsner of Germany for the gold medal in the women’s 50 freestyle final in Napoli. Great Britain’s Emily Barclay touched 3rd in 25.15. Only 7/100ths separated the three medalists, and only 44/100ths separated the entire heat. For Perry, both the semis and tonight’s final are improvements upon her previous lifetime best (25.19) from the 2018 U.S. National Championships.

Nastassia Karakouskaya of Belarus touched 4th in 25.24, and USA’s Grace Ariola 5th in 25.27. Just behind Ariola with a 25.28 was Valerie Van Roon from the Netherlands in 6th. 7th went to Italy’s Nicoletta Ruberti in 25.37, and China’s Ying Bao rounded out the field in 25.52.


  • World Record – 20.91, Cesar Cielo (BRA), 2009
  • Meet Record – 21.67, Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 2013
  1. David Cumberlidge (GBR), 21.97
  2. Kosuke Matsui (JPN), 22.26
  3. Daniil Markov (RUS), 22.39

David Cumberlidge held onto his top seed in the men’s 50 free and became the only man at this meet to go under 22-seconds in the 50 free. Japan’s Kosuke Matsui held on for silver in 22.26.

After tying for 8th in the semis yesterday, Daniil Markov had to swim-off against Canadian Cameron Kidd for a spot in the top 8. Markov won the swim-off, and tonight, out of lane 8, won the bronze medal in 22.39, exactly the time he went yesterday when he and Kidd tied in the semifinals.

Poland’s Pawel Sendyk finished 4th in 22.42; Brazilian Gus Borges took 5th in 22.49; American Zach Apple placed 6th in 22.50; Austrian Heiko Gigler and Hong Kong’s Ian Ho touched simultaneously, tying for 7th in 22.52.


  • World Record – 29.40, Lilly King (USA), 2018
  • Meet Record – 30.12, Yulia Efimova (RUS), 2013
  1. Jhennifer Alves (BRA), 30.73
  2. Sarah Vasey (GBR), 30.81
  3. Chelsea Hodges (AUS), 31.13

Jhennifer Alves won Brazil its first gold medal of the meet in the women’s 50 breast, touching just ahead of Great Britain’s Sarah Vasey, 30.73 to 30.81, respectively. Australia’s Chelsea Hodges placed 3rd in 31.13, only 1/100th ahead of 100 and 200 breaststroke champion Tatjana Schoenmaker from South Africa, who placed 4th in 31.14.

Canadian Sophie Angus placed 5th in 31.32; Tatiana Chisca of Moldova took 6th in 31.58; Kazakhstan’s Adelaida Pchelintseva took 7th in 31.75; Dominika Sztandera of Poland finished 8th in 31.84.


  • World Record – 2:01.81, Liu Zige (CHN), 2009
  • Meet Record – 2:06.83, Audrey Lacroix (CAN), 2007
  1. Dakota Luther (USA), 2:07.92
  2. Olivia Carter (USA), 2:09.05
  3. Sachi Mochida (JPN), 2:09.38

Japan’s Sachi Mochida was in the lead for the first 50 meters, but top-seeded Dakota Luther was only 0.20s behind. Luther then out split Mochida by 0.68s on 2nd 50 and led opened up a body-length lead for the rest of the way, stopping the clock in 2:07.92.

Luther’s USA and Georgia Bulldog teammate Olivia Carter also passed Mochida on the 2nd 50 and earned a silver medal with a time of 2:09.05. Mochida held on to win bronze, touching out Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato 2:09.38 to 2:09.47, just a fingernail in ahead of Italian teammate Alessia Polieri who took 5th in 2:09.58.

Claudia Hufnagl of Austria took 6th in 2:10.69, while Great Britain’s Charlotte Atkinson, who in 2018 placed 4th at the Commonwealth Games in the 200 fly, placed 7th in 2:12.53. Australia’s Alice Stuart rounded out the field in 8th with a 2:13.27.


  • World Record – 4:03.84, Michael Phelps (USA), 2008
  • Meet Record – 4:11.98, Daiya Seto (JPN), 2017
  1. Yuki Ikari (JPN), 4:12.54
  2. Sean Grieshop (USA), 4:13.90
  3. Maxim Stupin (RUS), 4:15.37

Japan’s Yuki Ikari took the gold in the men’s 400 IM, overpowering top-seed Sean Grieshop of Team USA who settled for silver in 4:13.90. Russian open water specialist Maxim Stupin swam a very consistent race to finish 3rd in 4:15.37, nearly two full seconds ahead of 4th-place finisher Adam Paulsson of Sweden, who touched in 4:17.32.

Ikari took the butterfly out faster than everyone except Grieshop, touching in 57.17 to Grieshop’s 57.12, and then made his move on the middle 200. After the backstroke, Stupin had a slight edge over Grieshop, though both trailed Ikari by over half-a-second. By 300, Ikari’s lead was up to over two seconds ahead of Stupin, who was still running 2nd. Ikari conceded some ground on the freestyle, but still won by nearly 1.5 seconds. Grieshop reeled Stupin in over the last 100 meters and ultimately beat the Russian by nearly 1.5 seconds, the same margin Ikari beat him to the wall by.

Great Britain’s Mark Szaranek placed 5th in 4:17.70; Italy’s Pier Matteazzi took 6th in 4:19.07; Team USA’s Sam Stewart placed 7th in 4:19.20; and Australia’s Brendon Smith finished 8th in 4:21.72.


  • World Record – 3:56.46, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2016
  • Meet Record – 4:03.96, Sarah Kohler (GER), 2017
  1. Kaersten Meitz (USA), 4:05.80
  2. Linda Caponi (ITA), 4:10.53
  3. Sierra Schmidt (USA), 4:11.37

Kaersten Meitz shaved nearly two seconds from her personal best in the 400 freestyle, dropping a massive 4:05.80 to win by nearly 5 seconds. Meitz led the entire way, but really began to distance herself at 200 meters, flipping in 2:01.26, nearly an entire second ahead of Linda Caponi of Italy.

While Caponi was racing Meitz over the first 200 meters, Sierra Schmidt was a little over one second behind, holding very consistent splits ranging from 31.6 to 31.9 from the 150 to the 300-meter mark. Schmidt managed a 31.73 on the final 50, faster than everyone else in the field other than Meitz and Canada’s Kennedy Goss, who took 5th, but split a 31.04 on the final 50 (faster even than Meitz).

Great Britain’s Abbie Wood placed 4th in 4:13.07; Canada’s Goss 5th in 4:13.23; Australia’s Mikayla Messer took 6th in 4:15.18; Catalina Corro of Spain took 7th in 4:17.44; and Kathryn Greenslade finished 8th in 4:18.29.


  • World Record – 3:51.55, Baker, King, Dahlia, Manuel (USA), 2017
  • Meet Record – 3:58.04, Zuyeva, Efimova, Popova, Andreyeva (RUS), 2013
  1. United States, 3:59.77
  2. Japan, 4:00.07
  3. Canada, 4:03.32

The United States just managed to hold off Japan to win the 4 x 100 medley relay tonight in the final women’s race of the meet. Katharine Berkoff put the US in the lead by nearly a full second over Japan with a 1:00.03 in the backstroke, and Emily Escobedo opened that up even more with a 1:06.72 split on the breaststroke. Newly-crowned 200 fly champion Dakota Luther posted a 59.01 butterfly split, which ranked as the 3rd-fastest in the field, though Japan’s Ai Soma made up a lot of ground on Luther in the fly, splitting a 58.22. Though Luther had just won the 200 fly 64 minutes prior the relay.

Gabby DeLoof took over on the freestyle and powered home in 54.01, though Runa Imai of Japan made up more ground, splitting a 53.87 to pull Japan nearly under 4 minutes, and only 3/10ths behind the Americans.

The Canadian team of Ingrid Wilm, Nina Kucheran, Hannah Genich, and Ainsley McMurray put together a 4:03.32 to take the bronze, just ahead of the Russian Federation.

Fastest splits:


  • World Record – 3:27.28, Piersol, Shanteau, Phelps, Walters (USA), 2009
  • Meet Record – 3:32.80, Irie, Sakimoto, Irie, Harada (JPN), 2009
  1. United States, 3:33.02
  2. Russia, 3:33.72
  3. Brazil, 3:35.33

The Russians and the Americans traded the lead in the men’s 4 x 100 medley relay several times before the freestylers hit the wall to cap off the 2019 World University Games (for swimming). Ultimately, the Americans came out on top, touching 3:33.02 to the Russians’ 3:33.72.

Justin Ress got things going with a 53.31 in the 100 backstroke, getting a strong lead over Russia’s Grigory Tarasevich, who touched in 53.94. Ian Finnerty then posted a 1:00.36 on the breaststroke, allowing Kirill Prigoda to devour the lead the Americans had after backstroke with a 59.14 split, which isn’t even quite as fast as his Russian NR in the event. At 200 meters, the Russians were leading the Americans 1:53.08 to 1:53.67. John Shebat made up a few tenths with a 51.80 fly split, though Egor Kuimov‘s 51.86 conceded very little. Finally, Zach Apple put up a 47.55 to mow down Ivan Kuzmenko, who put up a 48.78 for the Russians.

The Brazilian team of Gabriel Fantoni (54.15), Pedro Cardona (1:00.98), Iago Moussalem (52.08), and Marco Ferreira (48.12) placed 3rd in 3:35.33.

Fastest splits:

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1 year ago

Zapple 22.50 for 6th. Seems like a long week of racing has taken its toll

Muddy Canary
Reply to  DMacNCheez
1 year ago

And he’s NOT a natural 50 guy (lcm).

WV Swammer
Reply to  Muddy Canary
1 year ago

He’s still been 21.9 sooo it WAS there

Muddy Canary
Reply to  WV Swammer
1 year ago

21.9 is good, but not elite. His 100 free is elite, and 200 is better than 50.
Dressel/M.A. are the elite 50 guys for the USA right now.

Reply to  Muddy Canary
1 year ago

He’s been 22.00

Reply to  flygy16
1 year ago

22 wont cut it next year at OT

Reply to  DMacNCheez
1 year ago

he still has the anchor leg in the medley!!

Muddy Canary
1 year ago

2:07 for Dakota. Great swim.

1 year ago

Chuffed for Cumberlidge. Lots of talent and that will give him the impetus to push on and make the Olympic team next year.

Reply to  Dee
1 year ago

indeed , the Brits are bringing in very interesting talented swimmers lately ….good for them & swimming in general .

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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