Li Zhuhao, 16, Matches Shiny Suit China 100 ‘Fly Mark At 51.24 In Zhejiang Gold Rush

Li Zhuhao, of China [TV still, ChinaTV]

Li Zhuhao turns 17 this Olympic year. Much to come in the next few weeks and then in late June before the Rio form guide will be in place but today the Zhejiang swimmer finds himself at the helm of the 100m butterfly world rankings on a matched Chinese record of 51.24 after victory on the penultimate day of action at Chinese Championships in Foshan. It was on his way to 17 that Michael Phelps clocked a sub-53 for the first time as the softest teen in history: 52.98

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China’s m4x100 medley will swim crazy fast time if Jiayu-Lizhuo*-Zhuhao-Zetao* turn up on form.

Unfortunately, their relay is populated with asterisks.



Dan smith

li zhuhao is consistent everywhere both inside and outside China and he,s from zhejiang which is producing China,s best swimmers. Zhejiang also has the best swimming facilities in China.

And apart from sun yang, zhejiang has a history of clean swimmers. Remember wu Peng another great Chinese butterflyer also from zhejiang province. I think the reason why zhejiang produces clean swimmers is bcos they have the best training facilities in China and they have the most sophisticated and extensive doping control in China. Beijing and shanghai also produces clean swimmers too but they don’t produce the volume of quality swimmers that zhejiang does. The dirtiest swimmers seem to come from the central provinces.

Anyway li zhuhao has shown great consistency.


Dan Smith,

I hope Li Zhuao is clean. It wouldn’t be funny if three of four legs in the relay have asterisks.

Dan smith

I hope he,s clean too. But I,m much more confident in swimmers from zhejiang, Beijing and Shanghai based on history. Sun yang dimmed that confidence a bit but still these one province and two cities have stellar histories compared to the rest of China.
Their backstroker xu jiayu is also from “where”. Yes he,s also from zhejiang.

I agree. I hope he,s clean.

Zhu Ye

Yu Hexin from Guangdong

Christopher Chow

Zhejiang has also produced Luo Xuejuan (2004 OG 100 breast champion), Yang Yu (multiple OG and WC medalist) and Chen Hua (3-time world champion in 800 free sc), all being very consistent and performing well both inside and outside China.


They might appear to be ‘clean’ in the sense of no evidence of illegal PEDs but, then again, how often are they independently tested? However, you can be fairly certain that many are probably not ‘clean’ in the sense of using medication to aid training performance. We have the ability to detect most substances circulating in a blood sample so these things can be tracked by the authorities if they take regular samples, even if they are so-called legal. This method is how they determined they should take a closer look at meldonium because they could see so many athletes using it over the years. China and Russia and maybe just about anyone will medicalise their sport with substances until they are placed on the banned list. The latter is always behind the times. We need regular, global and independent testing. We need to have international athletes declare if they are on any form of medication and why. If substances are found in their samples which have not been declared then they should be disqualified. Athletes who have asthma have to do this so why not everyone else? We have to make it much harder for the cheats and much fairer for the honest athletes.

Dan smith

CharlesB i agree everybody medicalizes their sports. Have you heard of sports medicine?
It,s a discipline in sports and more advanced in western Europe, the US and Japan.

All sports men and women take their vitamins.

Craig Lord

Thanks Zhu

Zhen Sun

Indeed Zhejiang has the cleanest history in China. The team values that reputation a lot; it pays off as people are less suspicious about talents coming from Zhejiang. Shanghai not so good in history, but quickly improved in recent years.

Historically, Liaoning, Shandong, and the Guangzhou Army had the worst record and reputation. One reason I am much more optimistic about Chinese swimming today is that in the last All China Games, held in Liaoning in 2013, the home team did not win a single gold medal, even its a traditional powerhouse and still had some quality swimmers, like Qiu Yuhan. This was unthinkable in previous national games, which always produce dramas and an overhaul of golds by the home team swimmers.

The most famous incident was in 2001 national games, Luo Xuejuan spoke out in the post game interview that “the pool is not clean”. She still won gold in the game but she seemed to spoke out for her Zhejiang teammates, who represented the country internationally but were beaten by swimmers coming out of nowhere in the national games.

Craig Lord

Zhen, many thanks – your insight is much appreciated.

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