2023 World University Games: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


The Day 4 finals session at the 2023 World University Games in Chengdu, China will be underway shortly. Tonight’s session is heavy on finals, featuring 7, as opposed to just 3 semifinals.


  • Women’s 1500 Free – Final
  • Men’s 100 Free – Semifinals
  • Women’s 200 IM – Final
  • Women’s 100 Back – Final
  • Men’s 200 Breast – Final
  • Women’s 100 Fly – Semifinals
  • Men’s 200 Fly – Final
  • Women’s 200 Breast – Semifinals
  • Men’s 50 Back – Final
  • Women’s 4×200 Free Relay – Final

You can find the Day 4 Finals live stream here.

Right off the bat, we’ll get to see star Chinese freestyler Li Bingjie in the women’s 1500 free. Fresh off a bronze medal performance in the event last week at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Bingjie is the heavy favorite in the event. She was 15:45 last week, so keep an eye on the WUGS Championship Record tonight, as it stands at 15:57.90.

Later in the session, we’ll get to see China’s Qin Haiyang in the final of the men’s 200 breast. Haiyang broke the World Record in the event last week at the World Championships. He looked relaxed in the prelims and semifinals of the 200 breast yesterday, so we’ll see if he makes a run at the Championship Record tonight. The CR stands at 2:08.37 and is held by American Andrew Wilson from 2017.


  • World Record: Katie Ledecky, United States – 15:20.48 (2018)
  • WUGS Record: Simona Quadarella, Italy – 15:57.90 (2017)


As expected, China’s Li Bingjie won the women’s 1500 free tonight, though the time was a bit off. After swimming a 15:45 to earn the bronze medal at the World Championships in Fukuoka last week, Bingjie swam a 16:18.48 tonight, 33 seconds off last week’s performance. Nonetheless, Bingjie led the race from start to finish tonight, picking up yet another gold medal for China in Chengdu.

The race for silver was an awesome one, seeing Japan’s Ichika Kajimoto and Italy’s Noemi Cesarano go down to the wire. Kajimoto was sitting in 4th through the bulk of the middle of the race. She moved into 3rd around the 1250m mark, then closed on Cesarano. At the finish, Kajimoto managed to get her hand on the wall ahead of Cesarano by 0.14 seconds.


  • World Record: David Popovici, Romania – 46.86
  • WUGS Record: Vlad Morozov, Russia – 47.62 (2013)


  1. Pedro Spajari (Brazil) – 49.03
  2. Kamil Sieradzki (Poland) – 49.29
  3. Mateusz Chowaniec (Poland) – 49.33
  4. Lucas Peixoto (Brazil) – 49.42
  5. Luca Armbruster (Germany) – 49.47
  6. Juran Mizohata (Japan) – 49.50
  7. Caden Duncan (United States) – 49.52
  8. Giovanni Carraro (Italy) – 49.54

In a quick semifinals of the men’s 100 free tonight, 13 swimmers went under 50 seconds. In the end, it took a 49.54 to qualify for tomorrow night’s final. As was the case this morning, Brazil’s Pedro Spajari led the field, swimming a 49.03. Once again, Spajari was out the fastest of anyone in the event, splitting a 23.29 on the opening 50m.

200 free champion Kamil Sieradzki clocked a 49.29 for the 2nd fastest time overall tonight. Fellow Polish swimmer Mateusz Chowaniec was right behind Sieradzki, clocking a 49.33 for 3rd.


  • World Record: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary – 2:06.12 (2015)
  • WUGS Record: Yui Ohashi, Japan – 2:10.03 (2017)


Italy’s Anita Gastaldi stormed to victory in the women’s 200 IM tonight. She got out to a blistering start, splitting 28.25 on fly and 33.20 on back for a 1:01.45 on the opening 100. She managed to hold on through the breaststroke, splitting 39.00, then came home in 32.29 on freestyle.

Hungary’s Dalma Sebestyen worked her way into 2nd on the back half of the race. She was sitting in 4th at the 100m turn, splitting 1:02.91 on the opening 100m. Sebestyen then split 38.76 on breaststroke, moving her into 2nd. She came home in 31.77, solidifying herself as the silver medalist.

American Caroline Theil also worked her way onto the medal stand tonight, Theil was in 7th at the 100m turn but a 38.14 on the breast leg propelled her into 3rd. She managed to hold that position on freestyle, coming home in 32.34.


  • World Record: Kaylee McKeown, Australia – 57.45 (2021)
  • WUGS Record: Katharine Berkoff, United States – 59.29 (2019)


Poland’s Adela Piskorska set herself up for victory from the start tonight. Piskorska broke out slightly ahead of the field off the start, and had opened up a significant lead at the 50m turn. Though some in the field were catching her in the final meters, Piskorska managed to get her hand on the wall first, swimming a 1:00.20.

Portugal’s Camila Rebelo put together a well-paced race to earn the silver medal tonight, Rebelo turned in 4th at the 50, splitting 29.57. She then kept her 2nd 50 split pretty close to the first, coming home in 30.95. Not only did Rebelo win the silver medal in the event tonight, her time of 1:00.52 marks a new Portuguese Record. Rebelo held the previous record at 1:00.66 from last summer’s European Championships.

Italy’s Federica Toma swam a similar race to Rebelo to earn a medal tonight. Toma was in 7th at the 50m turn, splitting 29.85. She then came home within 1 second of her 1st 50 split, putting up a 30.80 on the 2nd 50.



  • GOLD: Qin Haiyang (China) – 2:08.09 (Championship Record)
  • SILVER: Yu Hanagurmua (Japan) – 2:10.31
  • BRONZE: Yamato Fukasawa (Japan) – 2:10.39

Qin Haiyang led the race from the start this morning, finishing in 2:08.09 to set a new WUGS Championship Record. Haiyang was out in 1:01.64 on the first 100m this morning, then put together a 1:06.45 on the back half to earn the victory by over 2 seconds. Of course, Haiyang was a bit off his World Record time of 2:05.48, which he set last week in Fukuoka.

Japan’s Yamoto Fukasawa was firmly in 2nd throughout the race, up until the final 50. Doing his best to hang with Haiyang as long as possible, Fukasawa faded just a bit on the final 50, which allowed Japanese teammate Yu Hanaguruma to sneak past him at the finish. At the touch, Hanaguruma got his hands on the wall just 0.08 seconds ahead of Fukasawa.


  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden – 55.58 (2016)
  • WUGS Record: Katerine Savard, Canada – 57.63 (2013)


  1. Zhang Yufei (China) – 57.80
  2. Erin Gallagher (South Africa) – 58.07
  3. Giulia D’Innocenzo (Italy) – 58.47
  4. Jing Shangbeihua (China) – 59.24
  5. Hiroshita Natsuki (Japan) – 59.25
  6. Viola Scotto (Italy) – 59.35
  7. Wiktoria Piotrowska (Poland) – 59.56
  8. Dalma Sebestyen (Hungary) – 59.60

China’s Zhang Yufei looked great tonight as she sped to the top time of the women’s 100 fly semifinals. Fresh of a gold medal performance in the event at the World Championships last week in Fukuoka, Yufei put up a 57.80 tonight, finishing as the only swimmer in the field to crack 58 seconds. While she was just off the Championship Record of 57.63, we can expect that Yufei will make a run at that record tomorrow night in the final.

After a bit of an off swim in the morning, South Africa’s Erin Gallagher looked to be right back on form in heat 2 tonight. Swimming out of lane 8, Gallagher was right there with Yufei, and ended up clocking the 2nd-fastest time of the morning with a 58.07. That swim puts Gallagher just off her South African Record of 57.67, which has stood since 2019. Of note, Gallagher shattered the South American int he 50 fly earlier in the meet, taking almost half a second off that mark.

Hungarian Dalma Sebestyen managed to clock a 59.60 for 8th tonight. Sebestyen wasn’t far removed from her silver medal performance in the women’s 200 IM just a bit earlier in the session.


  • World Record: Kristof Milak, Hungary – 1:50.34 (2022)
  • WUGS Record: Nao Horomura, Japan – 1:53.90 (2017)


In a thrilling race, Japan’s Takumi Terada managed to grab the gold medal in the men’s 200 fly tonight. It was China’s Chen Juner who led the race through the first 175m, but he faded at the end, meanwhile, Terada was charging. Terada came home in a speedy 30.24, well ahead of the 31.68 Juner came home in.

For Japan, the gold marks their first of the night, however, it’s their 4th overall medal of the session.

For a second there, it looked like Taipei was going to earn their first gold medal of the meet, as Kuan-Hung Wang briefly was in the lead in the final 25m. Terada ended up getting him at the touch, but Wang picked up the silver medal in 1:55.69.


  • World Record: Evgeniia Chikunova, Russia – 2:17.55 (2023)
  • WUGS Record: Rie Kaneto, Japan – 2:22.32 (2009)


  1. Kaylene Corbett (South Africa) – 2:26.31
  2. Kotryna Teterevkova (Lithuania) – 2:27.03
  3. Zhu Leiju (China) – 2:28.86
  4. Bente Fischer (Germany) – 2:29.19
  5. Jiwon Yang (South Korea) – 2:29.68
  6. Zheng Muyan (China) – 2:29.75
  7. Haruna Ogata (Japan) – 2:29.95
  8. Alessia Ferraguti (Italy) – 2:33.03

Kotryna Teterevkova, the 100 breast champion here in Chengdu, set the tone in the first of the semifinals heats, swimming a 2:27.03 for a comfortable victory. She led the race from the start of the heat, getting out to a 1:10.83 on the opening 100. She then held the pace of her 2nd 50 very well, splitting 1:16.20 on the 2nd 100m of the race.

Taking the 2nd semifinals heat was South Africa’s Kaylene Corbett, who clocked the top time of the evening in 2:26.31. The reigning bronze medalist at the Commonwealth Games in this event, Corbett was out slightly slower than Teterevkova, splitting 1:10.92 on the opening 100m. She put together the superior back half, which has earned her lane 4 for tomorrow night’s final.


  • World Record: Hunter Armstrong, United States – 23.71 (2022)
  • WUGS Record: Zane Waddell, South Africa – 24.46 (2019)


Italy once again saw both their swimmers earn medals in a men’s backstroke event. Simone Stefani, the 100 back champion from a few days ago, won in a photo-finish tonight, getting his hand on the wall in 24.98. While it was a great swim for a gold medal out of Stefani, Romania’s Andrei Anghel was right there. Anghel took the silver medal with a 25.06.

Fellow Italian Michele Lamberti was 3rd at the touch, swimming a 25.09, just 0.09 seconds behind Stefani.

The event was also an excellent one for Romania. In addition to Anghel’s silver medal, Denis Popescu came in 5th tonight with a 25.29.


  • World Record: Australia – 7:37.50 (2023)
  • WUGS Record: United States – 7:53.88 (2015)


  • GOLD: China – 7:58.77
  • SILVER: United States – 8:02.28
  • BRONZE: Japan – 8:04.28

China won yet another relay gold medal comfortably here in Chengdu tonight. Liu Yaxin got the Chinese team out to an awesome start tonight, swimming a 1:57.45 on the lead-off leg, which put her team in the lead by nearly 3 seconds. Jing Shangbeihua then split 2:04.18 on the 2nd leg, while Zhang Yufei then clocked a 1:58.71 on the 3rd leg. Li Bingjie, the women’s 1500 free champion from the beginning of tonight’s session, was able to comfortably anchor the Chinese squad home in 1:58.43, sealing the victory.

China was off the Championship Record of 7:53.88, though they still managed to win gold by well over 3 seconds tonight.

The Americans came in 2nd tonight with a very well-balanced effort. Amy Tang (2:01.03), Megan Van Berkom (2:01.56), Macky Hodges (1:58.38), and Paige MacEachern (2:01.31) combined to make it happen.

South Africa was in excellent position on the front half of the race, hitting the 400m exchange in the lead. It was due to Dune Coetzee‘s 2:00.14 lead-off, coupled with Erin Gallagher‘s 1:5.77 on the 2nd leg, which put the South African team into the 400m wall in 3:59.91, making them the only team under 4:00 at that point. South Africa would be caught by Japan on the back half, however, and ended up finishing 4th in 8:08.70.

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8 months ago

I read a lot of chinese netizens social media posts on letting Zhang and Qin taking part in the swimming programs at this Games. A very large majority (like over 90%) are of the opinion that this games should be for amateur student athletes only. Since sports is state sponsored in China letting them compete would be like the equivalence of letting professionals competing against amateurs. They are openly calling out the Chinese Sports commission of being shameless and winning medals at all cost mentally which is so totally against the millennium old teaching of confucious thought.

8 months ago

Has the US won an event at this meet?

Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
8 months ago

No because China had brought world record holders and a majority of there worlds team. Along with other teams, they also brought their A teams. You have to put it in perspective. Remember that the US team is competing under different circumstances this meet. A lot of those kids it’s their first experience internationally, so i’m very proud of them so far.

8 months ago

Great relay split for Macky Hodges

8 months ago

USA relay finishes 2nd = gets 2 sentences

South Africa doesn’t medal = gets a full paragraph

Reply to  Swordle
8 months ago

Obvious anti-US bias.

I didn’t know there was a scoreboard based on “number of sentences.” I guess we should “do better.” SA got 3 sentences, US got 2. Brutal.

Reply to  Braden Keith
8 months ago

Considering the relay dropped significantly from prelims and had 2 legs from prelims drop significantly and most likely not a thought to medal going in, just saying give some credit to these kids competing against Worlds teams and Olympians