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Home News A young gold medallist and Tifosi vocal in the shadow of the home record holder

A young gold medallist and Tifosi vocal in the shadow of the home record holder

Summer Games 5 August 2023
Simone Stefani (left) and Michele Lamberti (right) (Italy) gold and bronze 50m backstroke medallists

The fourth day of swimming competition at the Dong’an Lake Sports Park Aquatics Centre was one of the most eagerly anticipated of the Chengdu FISU World University Games.

Poland’s rising star Adela Piskorska showed her maturity in the women’s 100m backstroke, winning her first gold medal of the FISU Games in 1:00.20.

“I’m still learning. I want to be even better in the future,” said the 20-year-old, just days removed from competing at the world championships in Japan.

Adela Piskorska (Poland) gold medal winner in the women’s 100m backstroke

“Next to the world championships, this is one of my biggest championships.”

The race was intense, and it was only a few metres from the finish line that victor became clear.

“I could see that I was leading most of the race,” said the winner.

“In the end, I didn’t have much power, but the first challenger couldn’t follow so well.” she added as she described the last few metres.

Portugal’s Camila Rebelo (1:00.52) and Italy’s Federica Toma (1:00.65) were close in second and third.

“I am very proud to win for my country,” Piskorska concluded after winning Poland’s seventh swimming medal of the meet. “It will be nice to hear Gaudeamus Igitur on the podium.”

Moments later, however, her gold medal was overshadowed by local favourite Qin Haiyang, who dominated the men’s 200 breaststroke. There were big expectations from the home crowd, but it was just another day at the office for the world record holder in the event.

Qin Haiyang (China) in the 200m breaststroke

With an impressive performance, the 24-year-old not only won his third gold medal in Chengdu but also set a new FISU record in 2:08.09.

Japan’s Hanaguruma Yu (2:10.31) and Fukasawa Yamato (2:10.39) took silver and bronze.

In the men’s 50 backstroke, Simone Stefani won another gold medal in 24.98 seconds. Romania’s Andrei-Mircea Anghel was second (25.06), while Michele Lamberti of Italy (25.09) collected bronze.

Among the raucous home crowd, the Tifosi chanted “Italia, Italia” in support of their swimmers.

Stefani (gold) and Lamberti (silver) had already shared the podium in the Games in the 100 back.

“We push each other to be the best we can be,” said the 22-year-old Lamberti about the team spirit.

“We [the Italian delegation] are a very good group,” he added about the many compatriots who came to cheer them on. “You can’t ask for anything more than to compete in such an atmosphere.”

Stefani talked about future.

“The Paris Olympics are the principal goal for me next year. But next year is tricky. Full of competitions, such as European swimming competition in November and world championships in February.”

Other gold medallists at the pool on Friday were Italy’s Anita Gastaldi (women’s 200 individual medley) China’s Li Bingjie (women’s 1500 freestyle), Japan’s Takumi Terada (men’s 200 butterfly) and the Chinese women in the 4×200 free relay.

There are still 20 sets of FISU swimming medals up for grabs over the next three days.

Written by Miha Trošt, FISU Young Reporter