2023 World University Games: Day 7 Prelims Live Recap


The final day of the 2023 World University Games is here! Of course, this morning’s session in Chengdu will be the shortest of the meet, featuring only four events.


  • Women’s 400 Free – Prelims
  • Men’s 400 IM – Prelims
  • Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay – Prelims
  • Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay

The women’s 400 free will feature Chinese distance star Li Bingjie. Having already won gold in the women’s 800 free and 1500 free, Bingjie enters the meet as the top seed in the 400 free as well. She’s the top seed by 5 seconds, setting her up nicely to win a 3rd individual gold.

Japan’s Kaito Tabuchi enters the meet under the Championship Record in the men’s 400 IM. Japanese star Daiya Seto holds the CR at 4:11.98, a time which he established at the 2017 WUGS. Tabuchi enters with a seed time of 4:11.75.


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


  1. Li Bingjie (China) – 4:15.31
  2. Antonietta Cesarano (Italy) – 4:15.38
  3. Ichika Kajimoto (Japan) – 4:15.54
  4. Noemi Cesarano (Italy) – 4:15.56
  5. Dune Coetzee (South Africa) – 4:15.65
  6. Maria Heitmann (Brazil) – 4:15.82
  7. Ajna Kesely (Hungary) – 4:15.90
  8. Leonie Kullmann (Germany) – 4:16.35

In a shockingly tight prelims of the women’s 400 free this morning, 1st and 8th place were separated by just 1.04 seconds. Moreover, the top 7 swimmers in the field this morning all went 4:15. That sets up what should be a really fun race in the final tonight.

Last in was Germany’s Leonie Kullmann, who clocked a 4:16.35. Kullmann was out pretty fast this morning, splitting 2:06.67 on the opening 200m. She didn’t have quite the same closing speed as the other top 8 finishers, which left her in 8th overall.

China’s Li Bingjie led the way with a 4:15.31. We can expect Bingjie to be quite a bit faster in finals tonight. She’s already won the women’s 800 and 1500 free here in Chengdu. She’s also the Asian Record holder in the event, having been as fast as 4:01.08.


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


  1. Kaito Tabuchi (Japan) – 4:19.63
  2. Pier Matteazzi (Italy) – 4:20.53
  3. Jared Daigle (United States) – 4:21.22
  4. Brandonn Almeida (Brazil) – 4:22.92
  5. Ei Kamikawabata (Japan) – 4:23.78
  6. Sinan Ruegg (Switzerland) – 4:24.31
  7. Samuele Martelli (Italy) – 4:24.42
  8. Marius Zobel (Germany) – 4:25.22

The final heat of the men’s 400 IM prelims was by far the fastest this morning. Out of the 8 swimmers in the final heat, 6 advanced to tonight’s final. They were led by Japan’s Kaito Tabuchi, who swam a 4:19.63 to win the heat and post the fastest overall time. Tabuchi came into the day as the top seed in the event, entering with a 4:11.75, which is faster than the Championship Record.

Japan’s 2nd swimmer, Ei Kamikawabata, also advanced. Swimming in the 2nd heat this morning, Kamikawabata clocked a 4:23.78 to win the heat. That time was good for 5th overall.

Italy also saw both their swimmers advance to the final, with Pier Matteazzi and Samuele Martelli both making it in.


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


  1. Japan – 4:05.11
  2. South Africa – 4:06.77
  3. Italy – 4:08.56
  4. Poland – 4:08.93
  5. China – 4:09.46
  6. United States – 4:11.78
  7. South Korea – 4:13.46
  8. Hong Kong – 4:14.54

Japan led prelims of the women’s 4×100 medley relay this morning, swimming a 4:05.11. Yumi Shuno (1:01.57), Haruna Ogata (1:09.53), Natsuki Hiroshita (58.60), and Hazuki Yamamoto (55.41) teamed up to earn the top seed for tonight’s final.

South Africa wasn’t far behind, taking 2nd overall with a 4:06.77. Erin Gallagher came up huge for the South African team this morning, splitting 57.94 on the fly leg, which was the fastest fly split in the field.

While they were only 5th this morning, we need to remember that China’s relay tonight will look very different. They’ll be adding 100 fly champion Zhang Yufei, who has arguably been the Swimmer of the Meet, to the fly leg. Li Bingjie, who has clocked some of the fastest 100 free splits in Chengdu this week, will go on the anchor. On top of that, China can use 200 back champion Liu Yaxin on the backstroke leg. They will be tough to contend with in tonight’s final.


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


  1. Japan – 3:37.42
  2. Poland – 3:38.63
  3. Italy – 3:38.96
  4. China – 3:39.51
  5. South Korea – 3:40.10
  6. Brazil – 3:40.66
  7. South Africa – 3:41.20
  8. Switzerland – 3:42.05

As was the case in the women’s 4×100 medley relay, Japan led the men’s relay this morning with a 3:37.42. Reo Miura got the Japanese team out to the lead, swimming a 54.86 on the lead-off leg. Japan would never give up the lead from that point on. Yu Hanaguruma clocked a 1:00.10 on the breast leg, while Takumi Terada split 52.68 on fly, and Konosuke Yanagimoto anchored in 49.78.

Another notable split in the event this morning came from Poland’s Adrian Jaskiewicz, who threw down a speedy 51.68 on the fly leg of the Polish relay.

The United States missed the final, finishing 10th this morning in 3:43.31.

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4 months ago

How is Brandonn Almeida still eligible for this competition?

Reply to  thezwimmer
4 months ago

I believe he isn’t but somehow they gave him a chance

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  thezwimmer
4 months ago

the age cap used to be 25, but it’s been briefly extended to 27 because of covid. almeida is 26