GWANGJU, South Korea, July 7 - James dead-heated for gold with the USA's Joshua Prenot in a dramatic final on Monday, while Jack McLoughlin snared silver in the 400m freestyle, and bronze medals went to to Jacob Hansford in the 200m freestyle, Kiah Melverton in the 1500m freestyle and Ami Matsuo in the 100m freestyle.
James created history, becoming the first Australian swimmer to defend a University Games title, but the 22-year-old had other things on his mind near the finish.
"Just get on the bloody wall, that's what I was thinking," James said.
"I knew it would come down to the final leg.
"It's the fastest I've been in two years and this sets me up really well for next year and the Olympic trials."
The swimming medals elevated Australia to 11th on the medal tally with one gold, one silver and six bronze medals after three days of competition.