2023 World University Games: Host Nation China Finishes Atop the Final Medal Table


After a remarkable meet which saw the nation bring home 18 gold medals, China finished out day 7 of the 2023 World University Games atop the medal table, winning the overall swimming medal table. 

The Chinese swimmers posted an almost-flawless performance in their home country, winning 20 medals with 18 golds and 2 bronze. The depth of the Chinese roster was largely in-part due to the participation of swimmers like Li Bingjie, Qin Haiyang, and Zhang Yufei, who all competed here shortly after their strong performances at the 2023 World Championships. 

On the final night of competition, Chinese swimmers contributed an additional 4 gold medals to the team’s total to solidify their dominance at this meet. Yufei kicked-off the night by winning the women’s 50 freestyle in Championship Record fashion. She clocked a 24.29, to touch the wall first and demolish the previous Championship Record of 24.48 from 2013. Bingjie then followed-up with a win in the women’s 400 freestyle, completing the sweep of the distance freestyle events. Her time of 4:08.38 was good enough for a narrow victory over Hungary’s Ajna Kesely, who finished 2nd in a time of 4:09.50. 

Both Chinese medley relays then won gold medals to close out the night. In the women’s 4×100 medley relay, the team of Liu Yaxin, Zhu Leiju, Yufei, and Bingjie combined for a time of 3:59.67 for a 1 second victory over Poland. In similar fashion, the Chinese men held off a strong field in their 4×100 medley relay with the team of Wang Gukailai, Qin Haiyang, Chen Juner, and Lin Tao combining for a time of 3:32.58 to smash the Championship Record of 3:32.80 from 2009. 

Italy finished 2nd in the medal table with 31 total medals (8G, 10S, 13B), the most total medals out of any nation competing by a landslide. The Italians also posted multiple wins on Day 7 as Antonella Crispino claimed 1st in the women’s 200 butterfly and Giovanni Izzo won the men’s 50 freestyle. 

Poland wrapped-up a remarkable meet with a 3rd place finish in the medal table with 15 total medals (6G, 7S, 2B). After finishing with only 1 medal in swimming at the 2019 edition of this meet, the nation has come a long way in the pool. In fact, Poland’s swimming medal total from this year is equal to the nation’s total medal haul across all sports from the 2019 World University Games. 

2023 World University Games, Final Swimming Medal Table

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 18 0 2 20
2 Italy 8 10 13 31
3 Poland 6 7 2 15
4 Japan 4 5 7 16
5 Lithuania 3 1 2 6
6 United States 1 3 3 7
7 Portugal 1 2 0 3
8 Germany 1 0 1 2
9 South Africa 0 7 0 7
10 Brazil 0 3 4 7
11 Hungary 0 3 1 4
12 Taipei 0 2 0 2
13 Romania 0 1 1 2
14 Cyprus 0 0 2 2
15 Kazakhstan 0 0 1 1
15 France 0 0 1 1
15 South Korea 0 0 1 1

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PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
1 month ago

18 golds and 0 silvers is a wild ratio.

Fukuoka Gold
1 month ago

B-b-but according to NBC and many Swimswam readers, Italy won medal table

Lap Counter
Reply to  Fukuoka Gold
1 month ago

That is first thing I thought about when I saw the table!

Southerly Buster
Reply to  Lap Counter
1 month ago

So if gold medals put China on top at these Games, doesn’t that mean gold medals must have put Australia on top at World Championships!

1 month ago

There were some really fantastic swims, both on the men’s and women’s sides of the pool — no need to review that with all of the excellent coverage. BUT, for one last time: if we have American swimmers at these high level international meets, we OWE them our support 100% — and that means $$$$. Finishing 6th, given all the drawbacks, is a fine outcome, and I hope to see these guys at the Olympic Trials for Paris 2024 next year.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

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