Report06 Aug 2023

Championship and national records fall at World University Games


Portuguese 400m runner Joao Coelho (© Getty Images)

Close finishes in the men’s 400m and women’s 100m hurdles resulted in numerous records being broken at the World University Games in Chengdu this week.

Just three thousandths of a second separated Portugal’s Joao Coelho and Australia’s Reece Holder in the men’s 400m, both men clocking a Games record of 44.79 with Coelho being given the victory.

Neither athlete had broken 45 seconds before these Games; Coelho improved upon his previous national record of 45.05, while 20-year-old Holder took 0.86 off his PB. In third, Mihai Sorin Dringo set a Romanian record of 45.27.

The women’s 100m hurdles was similarly competitive. In a close final, Slovakia’s Viktoria Forster took gold in a national record of 12.72 (1.0m/s) with China’s Wu Yanni taking silver in a PB of 12.76 and India’s Jyothi Yarraji setting a national record of 12.78 for bronze.

It was Forster’s fourth national 100m hurdles record of 2023 and her second medal of the Games. Two days prior, she took silver in the 100m flat in 11.34, behind Luxembourg’s Patrizia van der Weken (11.22).

The men’s 100m final was much closer and was won by Jamaica’s Kadrian Goldson in 10.04 from South Africa’s Shaun Maswanganyi (10.06).

Peng Ming-Yang revised his lifetime best twice en route to winning the men's 400m hurdles title. After clocking a PB of 48.97 in the semifinals, he won gold with a national record of 48.62.

Turkiye's Ismail Nezir was second in a PB of 48.72 and China's Xie Zhiyu took bronze in a national record of 48.78.

The host nation racked up several gold medals, including in the men’s triple jump. Su Wen took the title with 17.02m after leaping 17.14m in qualifying.

World and Olympic finalist Song Jiayuan dominated the women’s shot put, winning by more than a metre with 18.56m. Meanwhile, Li Jiangyan (71.20m) and Wang Qi (73.63m) won the women’s and men’s hammer titles respectively.

Polish athletes also performed well, with Oskar Stachnik winning the men’s discus (63.00m) and Konrad Bukowiecki taking the men’s shot put title (20.23m). Lithuania’s Edis Matusevicus prevented a third Polish throws victory as he successfully defended his javelin title with 80.37m, beating Poland’s Cyprian Mrzyglod by 35 centimetres.

Turkiye took both 20km race walk titles, Meryem Bekmez winning the women’s gold with 1:33:53 and Salih Korkmaz taking the men’s crown in 1:23:40.

Elsewhere, Austria’s Isabel Posch set a PB of 6107 to win the women’s heptathlon by 44 points from Yuliya Loban, and Japan’s Ken Toyoda won the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.40.