Cao & Chen Leap; Wu’s Last Gold; Sun’s 4th Gold
The 400m free crown in the bag at the All-China Games in Shenyang, with a massive pb of 4:03 up from 4;09, Cao Yue, of Shanxi, qualified for the 200m final in lane 7 and was expected to get inside her best time of 1:59.26. She exceeded expectation with a 3.01sec leap for victory in 1:56.25. That catapulted her from 36th all-time in her country to fastest-ever in textile and third best ever, the national mark held at 1:55.05 by Pang Jiaying. Pang was fourth today in 1:57.14, the podium requiring a 1.56 swim.
The silver went to Jiangsu’s Shen Duo in 1:56.27, the bronze to the People’s Liberation Army’s Zhang Yuhan, in 1:56.36 after a burst of speed on the third lap.
- 27.29 56.74 1:26.95 1:56.25 Cao (previous best: 1:59.26)
- 27.07 56.69 1:26.99 1:56.27 Shen (previous best: 1:58.37)
- 27.90 57.42 1:26.91 1:56.36 Zhang (previous best: 2:00.60)
The final featured three on 1:57s and two on 1:58s. The top three are now 6th, 7th and 9th in the world this year and clearly China would have been a gold-medal contender at world titles over 4x200m had it fielded the strength we can see in Shenyang. In fact, China finished fourth in Barcelona, all four splits (1:57.17; 1:57.54; 1:58.02; 1:57.06) slower than today’s solo-race podium at the All-China Games.
The session marked the best ending to a career than any swimmer could wish for: a last win for Wu Peng in the 200m butterfly came his way in 1:55.19. Zheijiang’s Wu, based in the US in the latter stages of his career, got past Hebei’s Chen Yin on the last lap after the two turned in 1:25.24 to 1:25.67. Chen took silver in 1:55.55, the battle for bronze going to a second Hebei charge, Hao Yun, on a personal best of 1:56.84, Wang Shun, of Zheijiang, locked out by 0.02sec.
“Please allowed me to be proud of myself! I won the event for fourth time in a row since 2001! I should say it is a perfect ending of my professional career. I am not as strong as before when I were young, and my training form got worse and worse each year. But I told myself never give up even though I was behind in the first 150m of the final. I hardly raised my head to breath in the last 50m.”
“I will go to USA to continue my study of English language in late September. I am not sure about my future plan, but the first step is to handle the language of English.”
In the last solo final of the evening, Zhejiang’s Olympic champion Ye Shiwen [Photo: Patrick B Kraemer] held off Chen Xinyi 2:09.28 to 2:09.55 after a stroke-for-stroke battle the whole way. The bronze went to Chen’s Shanghai training partner Zhou Min, in 2:12.19. Ye was down on her sub-2:08 Olympic-winning time of last year but a second ahead of where she was at World titles in Barcelona this summer. For Chen, the race marked a big step up: her previous best had been 2:12.55.
- 28.26 1:00.88 1:39.29 2:09.28 Ye
- 28.13 1:00.92 1:39.40 2:09.55 Chen
Sun Yang , having qualified for the 100m free solo final earlier in the session, collected his fourth gold of the meet, a 1:47.24 split bringing Zheijiang home to a 7:12.79 victory in the 4x200m freestyle. Sun now has 200m and 400m free (the 200 in an Asian record) and 4×100 and 4×200 gold in the bag, the 1500 among three more targets.
The relay splits:
- Lv Zhiwu 25.44 53.37 1:21.25 1:47.67
- Wang Shun 25.02 52.59 1:20.90 1:48.63
- Wu Peng 25.36 53.47 1:21.72 1:49.25
- Sun Yang 24.59 51.98 1:19.84 1:47.24
- Li Yusen 25.94 53.83 1:21.58 1:49.02
- Li Yongwei 25.09 52.78 1:20.89 1:49.13
- Song Jiaming 25.43 53.75 1:22.58 1:51.43
- Li Yun Qi 24.71 52.21 1:19.67 1:46.75
- Zhang Jie 25.43 53.35 1:21.76 1:49.61
- Sun Yun Chao 24.99 52.81 1:21.40 1:50.27
- Qiu Ying Wah 24.52 52.45 1:20.80 1:48.80
- Jiang Yuhui 24.91 52.75 1:20.81 1:47.85
In the semi-finals
People’s Liberation Army’s Ning Zetao led the way to the men’s 100m free final in 49.09, ahead of Zheijiang pair Lv Zhiwu, on 49.14, and Sun Yang, on 49.34, and a member of the club of sub-15min 1500m free swimmers who can crack 50sec over 100m, Oussama Mellouli (TUN) the other Olympic 30-lap champion standing out as an example of that kind of scope.
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