2023 World University Games: Day 7 Finals Live Recap


The final session of the 2023 World University Games is here! After a week of racing in Chengdu, we close the meet out tonight with the finals of eight events.


  • Women’s 50 Free – Final
  • Men’s 50 Free – Final
  • Women’s 50 Breast – Final
  • Women’s 200 Fly – Final
  • Men’s 400 IM – Final
  • Women’s 400 Free – Final
  • Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay – Final
  • Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay – Final

You can find the link to the live stream here.

Leading things off tonight will be Chinese star Zhang Yufei, who comes in as the top seed in tonight’s final of the women’s 50 free. Yufei has already won individual gold in the women’s 50 fly, 100 fly, and 100 free, breaking the Championship Records in all 3 events. She’ll be looking to add individual gold #4 and Championship Record #4 to that tally tonight.

Yufei will also be swimming fly on China’s women’s 4×100 medley relay. The new Championship Record holder in the women’s 100 fly, Yufei will be a huge asset to China, as they attempt to add another women’s relay medal to their total.

China’s Li Bingjie will also be a member of that Chinese 4×100 medley relay. Bingjie will be racing in the final of the women’s 400 free tonight as well, where she’ll be looking for her 3rd individual gold of the meet.


  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden – 23.61 (2023)
  • Championship Record: Aliaksa Herasimenia, Belarus – 24.48 (2013)


Zhang Yufei has done it again. The Chinese star has won her 4th individual gold of the meet, winning the women’s 50 free tonight in decisive fashion. Yufei clocked a 24.29, shattering the Championship Record of 24.48, which has stood since 2013. With the Championship Record, Yufei is now 4-for-4 on individual golds here in Chengdu, and has set the Championship Record in each of those events. Yufei also broke the CR in the women’s 50 fly, 100 fly, and 100 free.

South Africa’s Erin Gallagher was a bit off her time from the semifinals, however, she still managed to earn the silver medal. For Gallagher, that swim marks her 3rd individual silver of the meet. She finished behind Yufei in the women’s 50 fly and 100 fly as well.

Cyprus’ Kalia Antoniou hit the wall in 25.14 for the bronze medal.


  • World Record: Cesar Cielo, Brazil – 20.91 (2009)
  • Championship Record: Vlad Morozov, Russia – 21.67


Italy’s Giovanni Izzo clocked a 22.17 to win gold in the men’s 50 free tonight. The swim comes in just off Izzo’s personal best of 22.05, which he set back in 2017.

Brazilian Lucas Peixoto earned the silver medal in 22.38, touching out Lithuania’s Jokubas Keblys by 0.01 seconds.

Brazil’s Pedro Spajari, the top seed in the event coming into the meet, finished 6th tonight in 22.60.


  • World Record: Ruta Meilutyte, Lithuania – 29.16 (2023)
  • Championship Record: Yulia Efimova, Russia – 30.12 (2013)


Linthuania’s Kotryna Teterevkova completed her sweep of the women’s breaststroke events here in Chengdu, winning gold in the 50 breast tonight in 30.58. Teterevkova broke out a little bit behind Dominika Sztandera, but her stroke saw her through, and by the end of the race, she had opened up a significant lead on the field. The 30.58 marks a new personal best for Teterevkova.

Sztandera clocked a 31.02 for the silver medal, while Brazil’s Jhennifer Conceicao, the defending champion in the event, was 3rd in 31.11.


  • World Record: Liu Zige, China – 2:01.81 (2009)
  • Championship Record: Audrey Lacroix, Canada – 2:05.83 (2007)


Italy’s Antonella Crispino won gold in a very tight race in the women’s 200 fly final tonight. Crispino got out to the early lead, splitting 1:00.81 on the first 100m, which put her ahead of Dalma Sebestyen (1:01.65), Chiho Mizuguchi (1:01.41), and Dora Hathazi (1:02.13). Sebestyen and Mizuguchi would close the gap on the 3rd 50, but Crispino would be able to just hold on to get her hands on the wall first at the finish.

Sebestyen earned the silver medal, while Mizuguchi earned bronze.

Hathazi, who was the only swimmer in the semifinals to break 2:10, just got out to a slower start than the 3 swimmers who beat her and was never able to fully recover from it. She finished in 4th in 2:10.18.


  • World Record: Leon Marchand, France – 4:02.50 (2023)
  • Championship Record: Daiya Seto, Japan – 4:11.98


The medalists in the men’s 400 IM tonight broke away from the rest of the field, opening up a big gap between themselves and 4th-place finisher Brandonn Almeida (Brazil), who clocked a 4:21.23.

Japan’s Kaito Tabuchi was out the fastest, splitting 57.06 on fly. He slipped to 2nd on backstroke, splitting 1:06.73, while teammate Ei Kamikawabata moved into the lead thanks to a 1:05.98 on backstroke. Tabuchi moved back into the lead on breaststroke thanks to a 1:11.93 split, which gave him a lead of nearly a second with 100m to go. He managed to hold onto the lead through the final 100m, though Italy’s Pier Matteazzi was charging.

In the end, Tabuchi won gold, while Matteazzi took silver, and Kamikawabata finished with the bronze.


  • World Record: Ariarne Titmus, Australia – 3:55.38 (2023)
  • Championship Record: Sarah Koehler, Germany – 4:03.96 (2017)


Operating in what she knows is a grueling double, China’s Li Bingjie managed to win her 3rd individual gold of the meet, taking the women’s 400 free in 4:08.38. Bingjie is set to swim the anchor leg of the China’s women’s 4×100 medley relay, which is the next event. Not only did the performance mark Bingjie’s 3rd individual gold of the meet, it was her 7th overall gold medal as well.

Bingjie was pushed the whole way through the race by Hungary’s Ajna Kesely, who ended up earning the silver medal in 4:09.50. Bingjie really pulled away from Kesely on the final 100m, where she split 1:01.25.

Italian Antonietta Cesarano was close the entire time as well. She ended up with the bronze medal, swimming a 4:10.49. Of note, Cesarano’s twin sister, Noemi Cesarano, was also in this final, where she finished 7th in 4:14.47.


  • World Record: United States – 3:50.40 (2019)
  • Championship Record: Russia – 3:58.04 (2013)


  • GOLD: China – 3:59.67
  • SILVER: Poland – 4:00.67
  • BRONZE: Italy – 4:04.82

For the first half of the race, Poland was firmly in control. 100 back champion Adela Piskorska led the Polish team off in 1:00.49, which gave them the lead and, most importantly, a 1.04-second lead over China. Poland then had the 50 breast champion from earlier in the session, Dominika Sztandera, dive in for breast. Sztandera clocked a 1:06.73, which was the fastest breast split in the field by far. With that swim, Poland hit the 200m exchange nearly 3 seconds ahead of China.

Zhang Yufei, the most decorated swimmer of this meet, completely changed the game, however. Yufei threw down a blistering 55.47 on the fly leg, which not only is a historically fast split, it made up the entire 3-second gap, putting China into the 300m exchange 1st. Diving in with a slight lead, Li Bingjie, the 2nd-most decorated swimmer of the meet, was able to get it done, splitting 54.16 to anchor the Chinese team to victory.

Notably, Bingjie was only about 10 minutes removed from winning gold in the women’s 400 free. With the gold, Yufei’s medal total this week comes to 9 golds, 4 of which were individual events, while Bingjie won 8 golds, 3 of which came in individual events.

A great anchor by Viola Scotto moved Italy up from 5th to 3rd, giving the Italians another medal to add to their already large haul.


  • World Record: United States – 3:26.78 (2021)
  • Championship Record: Japan – 3:32.80 (2009)


  • GOLD: China – 3:32.58 (Championship Record)
  • SILVER: Italy – 3:33.14
  • BRONZE: Japan – 3:35.04

Swimming in their home country, the Chinese team of Wang Gukailai, Qin Haiyang, Chen Juner, and Lin Tao sent the 2023 WUGS out with a bang, bringing home gold for China and breaking the 14-year-old Championship Record in the men’s 4×100 medley relay.

Gukailai got the team out to a strong start, splitting 54.76 on backstroke, which was the 2nd-fastest back split in the field. Juner was also great, splitting 51.37 on fly, while Tao anchored the team in 48.80. The difference-maker, however, was Qin Haiyang, who was nothing short of exceptional on the breaststroke leg. Haiyang blasted a 57.65 on the breast leg, pulling China into the lead by a huge margin.

That was an incredible swim for Haiyang, who holds the Asian Record in the men’s 100 breast with a 57.69, which he swam for gold at the World Championships nearly two weeks ago.

Italy had a great performance as well, coming in a close 2nd. Simone Stefani, the champion in the 100 back, led the Italian team off in 53.77, which put them in the lead. Alessandro Pinzuti was very good on the breast leg, splitting 59.46. While that was a great split for Pinzuti, Haiyang was still nearly 2 seconds faster, which bumped Italy back to 2nd. Christian Ferraro kept things going, splitting 51.94 on fly. It came down to 50 free champion Giovanni Izzo, who came roaring home in 47.97. It was a phenomenal split for Izzo, but the gap between he and Tao was just too much, leaving Italy with the silver medal.

Japan was in 3rd the entire way through the race and ended up earning the bronze medal.

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4 months ago

Zhang Yufei is a STAR. On her last swim of a nonstop two-week run, she posts a faster 100 fly split than she did at Worlds. Wow.

Reply to  Aquajosh
4 months ago

30 swims in 15 days.

4 months ago

Why is the scheduling horrible – 4 womens finals vs 2 for the men?

4 months ago

At the conclusion of this world university games 2023, I really have to give a shout out to team USA and all the efforts that they made. Perhaps not all the results were what we had wanted but given the Fact that these athletes did it on their own dime, it is simply fantastic!!

4 months ago

To be fair that how almost every other countries do it and sometimes even at much bigger meets like worlds

4 months ago

Wow, great split by Yufei. It’s faster than her splits in both the mixed and women’s medley finals at Fukuoka.

4 months ago

holy abnormal swim from zhang yufei, would like to know her butterfly split in the relay.

4 months ago

Insane run by Zhang Yufei in Women’s 4x100m Relay. Poland had that till her final 25 meters.

Reply to  Var
4 months ago

what was here split time

Former Cal Student
Reply to  Caelab
4 months ago

55.47 is crazy!

Last edited 4 months ago by Former Cal Student
Reply to  Caelab
4 months ago

RT 0.43