Sun Strikes Out For 1:44.47 200Fr NR And Third Gold
Sun Yang claimed his third gold medal at the All-China Games in Shenyang today, a 1:44.47 national record sweeping the Olympic and world 400 and 1500m champion inside the 1:44.93 in which he claimed silver over four laps at London 2012. The swim marked Sun’s fourth effort inside 1:44 since 2011 and ranks him world No 2 this year.
Sun skipped the 200m at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona five weeks ago, though a 1:43.1 relay split anchoring China to bronze hinted at the pace he is capable of. The world crown went to Olympic champion Yannick Agnel (FRA) in 1:44.20, Sun’t time leap-frogging the 1:44.87 clocked by Danila Izotov (RUS) at the Universiade in Kazan.
Sun [Photo: Aniko Kovacs], of Zheijang and based in Hangzhou in the lead-up to Games, cracked his rivals with an opening 51.20 split, closest to him Li Yunqi, on 52.34, and Hao Yun, on 52.94. As Sun rolled on to gold, Li held off Hao to the last turn before Hao produced a blistering last 50m split – 26.41 – that marks the only 50m lap in the race swifter than the pace of Sun, on 26.54 coming home. Hao, of Hebei, took silver in 1:46.85, Li, of Henan, on 1;48.30 for bronze just 0.06sec ahead of Xu Qiheng, Zhang Jie only 0.03sec further adrift.
- 24.81 51.20 1:17.93 1:44.47 Sun
- 25.68 52.94 1:20.44 1:46.85 Hao
- 25.39 52.34 1:19.69 1:48.30 Li
Hao returned to the fray later in the session to lead the way through to the 200m butterfly final in 1:56.97, with veteran big-moment medallist Wu Peng booking lane 5 in 1:57.27 and Wang Pudong on 1:57.99. Three 1:58s and four 1:59s followed.
Other events continued to show that China places greater emphasis on its prime domestic event than the FINA showcase, in part because of the financial incentives on offer, rewards that have raised concerns among anti-doping officials looking back at a troubled history. If no single final beyond Sun’s threatened the world order, the depth behind winning times inside the best efforts of Chinese at Barcelona, flooded the world top 50 2013 rankings (for now, we show the top 10 here).
In the men’s 100m backstroke, Xu Jiayu clocked a personal best and China all-time No2 of 53.43, off a 26.19 split for gold. The time was inside the 53.63 he swam at Barcelona world titles. Xu, of Zhejiang, was third at the turn, Cheng Feiyi, the national record holder and local favourite from Liaoning, on 25.66 in second, the race led by Shanghai’s Sun Xiaolei in 25.53. Xu passed them on the way home, while Cheng (on 53.22 at the 2012 Olympics) got passed Sun for silver 53.91 to 54.11. The rest of the final all clocked 55s, from 55.08 to 55.89.
Zhejiang took yet another gold when Fu Yuanhui, out in 29.17, clocked 59.64 for victory un the 100m backstroke, the winning time .3 down on her semis effort of yesterday. Hubei’s Zhao Jing took silver in 59.92, bronze going to Hunan’s Liao Yali in 1:00.10. The final featured four others inside 1:01 and was all done in 1:01.16.
Shanxi’s Zhao Jin claimed the 100m breaststroke crown in 1:07.28, off a 31.22 leading split. She was challenged for gold on the way home but held off Liaoning’s Ji Liping on 1:07.66 for silver, the bronze to Shanghai’s Sun Ye in 1:07.80, that locking out Jiangsu’s Shi Jinglin on 1:07.93. Before this race, Sun’s 1:07.90 season best was China’s only sub-1:08 effort. The rest of the final came home inside 1:10, the last three efforts 1:09s. Zhao, 25, had a season best of 1:10.32 back in January when she was in Australia, after a 1:07.68 best in 2012. Her new best leaves her at 11th in the world in 2013.
In semi-finals, Jiangsu’s 16-year-old Shen Duo led a deep and high standard in the 200m free on a lifetime best of 1:57.05, with three others inside 1:58, the next six home on 1:58s, followed by three 1:59s. Before those semi line-ups this year had seen one sub-1:58, two others inside 1:59 and only 6 swimmers under 2mins. Olympic champion Ye Shiwen booked lane 4 for the 200m medley final in 2:12.73.
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