There were eight finals held at the Stadio San Paolo and Italy were winners in the women’s pole vault and 100m hurdles, while Brazil also came away with two golds from the track in the men’s 400m hurdles and 200m sprint.
In the women’s pole vault final, there were two Italians in the form of Roberta Bruni and Sonia Malavisi in contention for gold. Although Bruni’s first attempt at 4.21 was disappointing, her second saw her clear the bar nicely where as Malavisi did not clear her second attempt but eventually did manage the third.
After six vaulters’ attempts, no one had cleared 4.31 until USA’s Rachel Baxter did to set the challenge for the others and Bruni did so clearing on her second attempt. Bruni was then the first to attempt 4.41 and finally won gold with 4.46 to the delight of the fans. Baxter won silver with 4.41 and her compatriot Bridget Antionette Guy taking bronze.
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Italy’s second athletics gold of the night came when Luminosa Bogliolo won the women’s 100m hurdles. The Italian had won her semi-final earlier in the day by more than three metres, which over a sprint distance automatically made her the favourite to become Universiade champion. And she lived up to that tag coming in ahead of Finland’s Reetta Hurske who took silver, followed by France’s Coralie Comte in third for bronze.
The first set of medals to be awarded on Thursday came after the men’s 400m hurdles which had a line-up including IAAF World U20 champion and fastest qualifier Sokwakhana Zazini of South Africa, second-fastest qualifier Patrick Dovak of Poland and Alison Santos of Brazil, who had won bronze in the IAAF World U20 championships last year. At the 200m mark, Zazini was powering ahead in the lead, although Santos was not far behind and well in contention. As they came into the straight, it was clear that the fight for gold was between South Africa and Brazil and it was Santos, who was beaten by Zazini in the U20 championships, who gained revenge from that defeat and clinched gold in 48.57 seconds. Zazini took silver in 48.73 with Poland’s Dobek claiming bronze in 48.99.
The men’s 200m brought up a second gold for Brazil as Paulo Andre Camilo won with a personal best of 20.28 seconds. Silver medallist Chederick van Wyk of South Africa also set a personal best with 20.44. Ireland’s Marcus Lawler won bronze.
There was double delight for the Germans in the much anticipated women’s 200m final as Jessica Wessolly ran in 23.05 seconds for silver while her countrywoman Lisa Kwayie won bronze in 23.11. However it was Belarussian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya who became Universiade champion as she came from behind at the 100m mark to power through in 22.99 seconds to take gold. India’s Dutee Chand, who had made national history with her gold in the 100m finished out of the medals,
The final day of table tennis action at the Palatrincone venue once again saw the China’s men and women dominant proceedings, this time in the singles events.
The Chinese have been consistently excellent throughout the eight days of table tennis competition at the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade and Yidi Wang and Ziyang Yu rounded off proceedings by defeating their compatriots respectively, both winning the gold medal in straight games victories.
Yidi Wang showed her strength and did not waste time in claiming her victory as she defeated compatriot Rui Zhang within 17 minutes, thanks to a crushing 3-0 set victory (11-7, 11-4, 11-2 and 11-6).
The men’s final was again an all-Chinese affair and saw Ziyang Yu take just 23 minutes to finish to wrap up victory over his compatriot Zihao Zhao, also winning by 3-0 sets (11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5).
Both Wang and Yu won four gold medals – in singles, doubles, mixed doubles and team – helping to lead China to nearly complete a clean sweep of the table tennis events thanks to their seven golds, five silver and three bronze medals.
In the men’s basketball, USA made up for missing out on gold at Taipei two years ago by defeating Ukraine 85-63 in the title game this time around.
The eventual champions almost did not make it this far having just edged past Israel 75-73 in their semi-final on Tuesday, and also squeezing through their quarterfinal match against Germany before that 76-74. Ukraine perhaps sensed an opportunity and were out for revenge having lost to the Americans 58-57 in their intense group encounter earlier in the competition, but they fell just short in what was a thrilling end-to-end final.
Ukraine took an early lead thanks to a blistering start, but USA soon made the game their own, and ended the first quarter 28-15 ahead. They continued that form into the second quarter and held a 48-23 lead at the halfway stage.
The third quarter was much of the same with USA dominating and finishing with a 64-41 advantage to head into the fourth quarter in which they closed the game down and stormed to victory with an equally commanding fourth quarter display.
PalaDelMauro also played host to the men’s bronze final earlier in the evening, and it was Australia who clinched third place as they beat Israel 86-69.
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