2023 World University Games: Day 2 Finals Live Recap



  • Women’s 100 free – semifinals
  • Men’s 50 fly – final
  • Men’s 100 back – final
  • Women’s 50 fly – final
  • Men’s 100 breast – final
  • Women’s 100 breast – semifinals
  • Men’s 200 IM – semifinals
  • Men’s 200 free – semifinals
  • Women’s 200 back – final
  • Mixed 4×100 medley relay – final

The day 2 finals session for the 2023 WUGS is set to kick off tonight in Chengdu. Tonight’s session will feature finals of the men’s 50 fly, men’s 100 back, women’s 50 fly, men’s 100 breast, women’s 200 back, and mixed 4×100 medley relay. There will also be semifinals of the women’s 100 free, women’s 100 breast, men’s 200 IM, and men’s 200 free.

You can find the live stream for finals here

Of course, the two most highly anticipated races of the day will be the women’s 50 fly and the men’s 100 breast. In both events, we could see the WUGS Championship Records go down again. In last night’s semifinals of the women’s 50 fly, China’s Zhang Yufei swam a 25.29, smashing the CR in the event by nearly half a second.

Qin Haiyang, China’s newly emerged breaststroke superstar, will also be racing in finals of the men’s 100 breast tonight. Haiyang broke the Asian Record in the event last week at the World Championships in Fukuoka. Last night, he swam a 58.42 to break the Championship Record by over a second.

Italy’s Simone Stefani looked great in semifinals of the men’s 100 back last night and enters tonight’s final as the top seed. Stefani was 53.87 last night, where he was the only swimmer in the field under 54 seconds.


  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden – 51.71 (2017)
  • WUGS Record: Aliaksadran Herasimenia, Belarus – 53.50 (2013)


  1. Kornelia Fiedkiewicz (Poland) – 55.02
  2. Zhang Yufei (China) – 55.06 (TIE)
  3. Erin Gallagher (South Africa) – 55.06 (TIE)
  4. Kalia Antoniou (Cypress) – 55.29 (TIE)
  5. Barbora Janickova (Czech Republic) – 5.29 (TIE)
  6. Giulia D’Innocenzo (Italy) – 55.35
  7. Hannah Kuchler (Germany) – 55.49
  8. Oceane Carnez (France) – 55.68

In a very tight semifinals of the women’s 100 free tonight, it took a 55.68 to advance to the final, which will take place tomorrow night. Poland’s Kornelia Fiedkiewicz led the charge, swimming a 55.02.

There were ties for 2nd and 4th tonight. Tying for 2nd was China’s Zhang Yufei and South Africa’s Erin Gallagher, both of whom went 55.06 tonight. Of note, we’ll see Yufei and Gallagher go head-to-head later in tonight’s session in the women’s 50 fly final. Both women broke the WUGS Championship Record in the 50 fly in semifinals last night.

Yufei was the top seed in the 100 free coming into the meet, entering as the only swimmer in the field under 54 seconds. She also split 53.47 on the women’s 4×100 free relay last night, so we know she has more speed to give.

Meanwhile, Cypress’ Kalia Antoniou and Czech Republic’s Barbora Janickova tied for 4th tonight, both touching in 55.29.

The first swimmer out was American Amy Tang, who came in 9th this evening with a 55.82.


  • World Record: Andrii Govorov, Ukraine – 22.27 (2018)
  • WUGS Record: Andrii Govorov, Ukraine – 22.90 (2017)


The men’s 50 fly was a great race, seeing Germany win its first gold medal of the meet. Luca Armbruster, who led semifinals last night, touched first tonight in 23.22, coming in just off the 23.18 he clocked in semis last night. Armbruster holds the German Record (in a tie) at 23.02, a time which he swam earlier this year.

There was a tie for 2nd tonight, seeing 2 swimmers win silver medals. Italian Lorenzo Gargani tied his semifinals time exactly, touching in 23.39. Also, operating out of lane 1, Poland’s Jakub Majerski finished in 23.39, earning a silver medal as well.

China’s Chen Juner came in 4th tonight in 23.46.


  • World Record: Thomas Ceccon, Italy – 51.60 (2022)
  • WUGS Record: Ryosuke Irie, Japan – 52.60 (2009)


In another very tight finish, Italy went 1-2 in the men’s 100 back final tonight. As he did in semifinals, Simone Stefani led the way and was once again the only swimmer in the field under 54 seconds. Stefani swam a 53.95, which was fueled by a very quick 2nd 50m of 27.73.

Touching right behind Stefani was Italian teammate Michele Lamberti, who clocked a 54.02. Like Stefani, Lamberti was very fast on the 2nd 50m tonight. In fact, he was a touch faster than Stefani, swimming a 27.64 coming home, which propelled him to the silver medal.

Earning the bronze was Romania’s Denis Popescu, who swam a 54.21.

American Tommy Janton was out the fastest tonight, swimming a speedy 26.07 on the opening 50m. Janton would end up finishing in 6th, however, touching in 54.88.


  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden – 24.43 (2014)
  • WUGS Record: Zhang Yufei, China – 25.29 (2023)


She did it! Once again, China’s Zhang Yufei cracked the WUGS Championship Record in the women’s 50 fly, tearing to victory tonight in 25.20. The swim came after Yufei took nearly half a second off the CR last night in semifinals, where she swam a 25.29.

Also with a great performance tonight, South Africa’s Erin Gallagher won the silver medal in 25.66. That performance marks a new South African Record in the event. Last night in semifinals, Gallagher became the first South African woman under 26 seconds in the event, and now she’s taken that mark well under 26 seconds.

Of note, both Zhang and Gallagher competed in the women’s 100 free semifinals about 35-40 minutes prior to racing the 50 fly tonight.

Italy won another medal, seeing Viola Scotto take the bronze with a 26.01.


  • World Record: Adam Peaty, Great Britain – 56.88 (2019)
  • WUGS Record: Qin Haiyang, China – 58.42 (2023)


Chinese star Qin Haiyang was off his WUGS Record time of 58.42 from semifinals, though he still won the men’s 100 breast comfortably tonight. Haiyang clocked a 58.92, coming in exactly half-a-second off the 58.42 he swam last night in semis. Of course, Haiyang set the Asian Record in the event last week at the World Championships, clocking a 57.69 en route to his 1st of 3 individual gold medals.

Fueled by a great back half, Poland’s Jan Kalusowski pulled even with Lithuania’s Andrius Sidlauskas and managed to out-touch him at the finish. Kalusowski split 31.53 on the 2nd 50m tonight, coming home faster than everyone in the field, except for Haiyang. For Kalusowski, the performance marks his first time going under 1:00 in the event.

Sidlauskas took 3rd in 59.89, picking up the bronze medal.

Italy was denied from the podium this time, seeing Alessandro Pinzuti take 4th in 1:00.35 and Ludovico Viberti finish 5th in 1:00.45.


  • World Record: Lilly King, United States – 1:04.13 (2017)
  • WUGS Record: Yulia Efimova, Russia – 1:05.48 (2013)


  1. Kotryna Teterevkova (Lithuania) – 1:07.27
  2. Kaylene Corbett (South Africa) – 1:08.17
  3. Dominika Sztandera (Poland) – 1:08.24
  4. Haruna Ogata (Japan) – 1:09.28
  5. Zheng Muyan (China) – 1:09.34
  6. Jiwon Yang (South Korea) – 1:09.58
  7. Yukino Miyasaka (Japan) – 1:09.88
  8. Pei-Win Lin (Taipei) – 1:10.05

Lithuania’s Kotryna Teterevkova swam a 1:07.27 for the top time of the night in the women’s 100 breast. It was a great swim for Teterevkova, who was out in 31.81 and back in 35.46.

South Africa’s Kaylene Corbett came in 2nd tonight in 1:08.17, while Poland’s Dominika Sztandera came in 3rd with a 1:08.24.

It took just shy of cracking 1:10 to qualify for the final. Taipei’s Pei-Win Lin was the last swimmer in tonight, finishing 8th in 1:10.05.


  • World Record: Ryan Lochte, United States – 1:54.00 (2011)
  • WUGS Record: Kosuke Hagino, Japan – 1:57.35 (2017)


  1. Gabriel Lopes (Portugal) – 2:00.69
  2. Heeyun Youn (South Korea) – 2:01.26
  3. Lorenzo Glessi (Italy) – 2:01.45
  4. Ikuru Hiroshima (Japan) – 2:01.91
  5. Huang Zhiwei (China) – 2:01.99
  6. Marius Zobel (Germany) – 2:02.00
  7. Hsing-Hao Wang (Taipei) – 2:02.17
  8. Jared Daigle (United States) – 2:02.21

Portugal’s Gabriel Lopes looked great tonight as he sped to the top time in the men’s 200 IM semifinals. He got out to a great start, splitting 25.86 on fly and 29.68 on back, for a 55.54 on the opening 100m. That gave him a huge lead, one which he wouldn’t relinquish through the back half of the race. After clocking a 35.02 on the breast split, Lopes was clearly hurting as he came home, splitting 30.13 on the free leg.

Also in the first heat with Lopes was South Korea’s Heeyun Youn, who swam a 2:01.26 for 2nd in the heat and 2nd overall.

Lorenzo Glessi won the 2nd of the semifinals heats, touching in 2:01.45 for the 3rd-fastest time overall. Backstroke was key to Glessi’s success tonight. Touching 5th in his heat on the fly-to-back turn, Glessi then clocked a very speedy 30.28 on the backstroke split, which rocketed him into the lead.

In the 2nd semifinals heat, Ikuru Hiroshima took the lead from Glessi on the breaststroke leg, throwing down a 34.70 on the breast 50. Hiroshima would end up finishing 2nd in the heat with a 2:01.91, which was good for 4th overall.


  • World Record: Paul Biedermann, Germany – 1:42.00 (2009)
  • WUGS Record: Danila Izotov, Russia – 1:44.87 (2013)


  1. Giovanni Caserta (Italy) – 1:47.84
  2. Jack Dahlgren (United States) – 1:47.92
  3. Tomas Navikonis (Lithuania) – 1:48.79
  4. Kamil Sieradzki (Poland) – 1:48.81
  5. Hoe Yean Khiew (Malaysia) – 1:49.08
  6. Chen Ende (China) – 1:49.27
  7. Yooyeon Lee (South Korea) – 1:49.64
  8. Keaton Jones (United States) – 1:49.66

American Jack Dahlgren was dominant in the first heat of the semifinals of the men’s 200 free tonight. Coming into the meet as the top seed in the event by a wide margin, Dahlgren was 2nd in prelims this morning. He wasted not time tonight, getting out to a huge early lead and holding it through the back half. Dahlgren touched in 1:47.92, bettering his prelims swam by well over a second.

Italian Giovanni Caserta would come around in the 2nd heat of semifinals and dip just under Dahlgren’s time. Caserta was out a over a second slower than Dahlgren on the first 100m but came home much faster. He ended up finishing in 1:47.84, grabbing the top seed for tomorrow night’s final.

It took under 1:50 to make it back to the final. American Keaton Jones was the last swimmer in, swimming a 1:49.66 for 8th.

Of note, 400 free champion Matteo Lamberti (Italy) did not make it back for the final. Lamberti finished 9th in 1:49.70.


  • World Record: Kaylee McKeown, Australia – 2:03.14 (2023)
  • WUGS Record: Lisa Bratton, United States – 2:07.91 (2019)


China’s Liu Yaxin was exceptional in the women’s 200 backstroke final tonight, tearing to victory in 2:08.18. She controlled her race extremely well, getting out to a 31.04 on the first 50m, which the 4th-fastest 1st 50 split in the field. Yaxin then tacked on 50 splits of 32.37, 32.35, and 32.42 respectively, holding her pace very well. She flew into the finish as the only swimmer in the field under 2:10 and touched just off the WUGS Championship Record of 2:07.91.

Portugal’s Camila Rodrigues swam a very consistent race as well. She ended up pulling ahead of Hungary’s Eszter Szabo-Feltothy on the final 50m, getting her hand on the wall 2nd in 2:10.47.


  • World Record: Great Britain – 3:37.58 (2021)
  • WUGS Record: China – 3:50.57 (2023)


  • GOLD: China – 3:44.02
  • SILVER: Poland – 3:46.07
  • BRONZE: Italy – 3:47.25

China was dominant in the mixed 4×100 medley relay tonight, roaring to victory in 3:44.02. The race was tight initially, as Simone Stefani gave Italy the lead on backstroke with a 53.61 split, which was considerably faster than Chinese lead-off Wang Gukailai’s 54.83. Of note, Stefani’s time was faster than the 53.95 he swam for gold in the individual men’s 100 back earlier tonight.

Italy’s lead wouldn’t last, however, as Qin Haiyang dove in for the Chinese breaststroke leg. Haiyang split 58.64, pulling the Chinese team into the lead. Then, it was time for Zhang Yufei, who put the race away for China on the fly leg. Yufei opened up a huge lead, tearing to a 56.81, which was by far the fastest fly split among female flyers in the field. Li Bingjie then brought the team home in a sizzling 53.74.

With the 3:44.02, China obliterated the Championship Record in the event, which their prelims relay set this morning at 3:50.57.

Speaking of which, it wasn’t just China that blew away the CR in the event tonight. The top 6 teams all finished under the mark set by China this morning.

Poland earned the silver tonight. Choosing to use a female breaststroker, which isn’t very common, the Polish team was sitting in 6th at the halfway point of the race. Jakub Majerski was phenomenal on the fly leg tonight, however, throwing down a blistering 50.73 split, which brought the Polish team all the way into 2nd.

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4 months ago


Chiming in
4 months ago

Why did the USA send a team like this? Going to WUGs should be something earned with a top 2 finish in the NCAA not just given to kids who will pay $. I completely understand that this is an opportunity most of these kids will never get again. But, it’s not appropriate and makes the USA look very, very weak. I’m sure I will get a lot of haters but if USA swimming wasn’t planning on sending a team then that should have been the end of it.

Reply to  Chiming in
4 months ago

Maybe, but they didn’t. And they sent a team without any support (for athletes AND coaches), so I’d say they’re doing pretty good all things considered. They found the sponsors, and kids, who you are right — probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity but now they do and they get to see what a world stage looks like; I’m not certain that there are so many countries watching this meet and thinking “oh the USA looks weak”. This meet is significantly smaller in comparison to Worlds, 13 countries.

Reply to  Chiming in
4 months ago

right now
You don’t seem to understand how the team was built. If USA Swimming didn’t pay a dime, what’s wrong with a team assembled by coaches based on best times, availability, academic score, ability to pay/fund raise, etc. This is the true spirit of the sport, no sponsors, just all around great kids, hard work, support. I bet they do their best to make USA proud as much as any World’s swimmer and you are denigrating their effort and devotion.

Reply to  DistanceFun
4 months ago

I’m not sure I’d say a team composed of those with “ability to pay/fund raise” is the true spirit of sport.

Last edited 4 months ago by Troyy
Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

True sense of amateur spirit is to not have rich sponsors but having to work to cover the costs and raise the money from friends and family. That’s the original Olympic spirit. But if you don’t want to get it, you won’t

Reply to  DistanceFun
4 months ago

Yeah, and that’s why most of the Olympians in the amateur era came from wealthy families who could afford to fund their hobbies.

That hasn’t necessarily been a dramatic change in swimming, but in many other sports it has.

Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

I don’t know any Olympic-level swimmer pre-1972 with wealthy background (from one European country with a lot of hardware in swimming). Generally they were middle class people with white collar jobs. There are lots of “rich people” sports but I don’t think swimming is one of them

Christine Breedy
Reply to  Chiming in
4 months ago

The US did not ‘send’ a team,- they just decided not to sponsor a team. This is the first time they didn’t sponsor—

Bing Chilling
4 months ago

Sucks that the US didn’t send a legit team, our top swimmers either the ones going to pan ams and U23 would be doing much better usually we dominate WUGs but this is lowkey embarrassing.

Memma Eckown
4 months ago

Just don’t understand why wouldn’t USA swimming send a top team? USA as a lot of tradition in the WUG and it seems a good competition for the people participating to then aspire to be on a world’s or Olympic Games team

Reply to  Memma Eckown
4 months ago

Cos China bad.

Alison England
4 months ago

It is Cyprus!

Alison England
Reply to  Alison England
4 months ago

Not Cypress! That is a tree, not the country!

Mike Jones
4 months ago

Team USA is getting put in a blender

Reply to  Mike Jones
4 months ago

Is USA swimming on a decline with no rising stars?

Never Enough Swim
Reply to  Mike Jones
4 months ago

What an amazing experience for these kids. Chances are Team USA wasn’t expecting to be swimming against Olympians and world record holders. At a glance, at least Poland, Portugal, and China all have their Worlds swimmers competing. Countries have every right to send whomever, but typically WUGS has not seen this caliber of swimmer in the past.

Pichael Mhelps
Reply to  Mike Jones
4 months ago

Probably bc the kids had to pay and it’s not a selection meet. They are all swimming really well.

4 months ago

Qin is an absolute beast! The guy is already establishing himself as one of the greatest breastrokers ever. Cannot wait to see what he does at the Asian Games! Only a matter of time before all the breastroke WRs are his.

On a side note, was it just me, or did they play the wrong national anthem for Armbruster? Didn’t sound like the German national anthem at all.

Reply to  Michael
4 months ago

World University Games does not play national anthem for the winner, instead, they play the event’s own anthem.

Reply to  Michael
4 months ago

They’re playing the FISU anthem for everything, it’s goofy.

Reply to  Michael
4 months ago

It was the FISU anthem

4 months ago

“Zhang Yufei from Southeast University”, storied franchise down there in the Southeast.