Titles & Rio Tickets For Shi, Xu, Wang & Wang But No Scream In Fu, Last In 100 Back

Fu Yuanhui after taking the world crown in 2015 - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Shi Jinglin and Xu Jiayu, respectively in the 100m breaststroke and backstroke, claimed national titles that stamped their tickets to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with world top-5 ranked efforts on the third day of action at Chinese nationals and trials in Foshan. There was drama in the women’s 100m backstroke final when Wang Xueer snatched victory ahead of Chen Jie, both just inside the minute but Fu Yuanhui, the world dash champion who has led the charge on speed for China over 100m and its medley relay, bombed out in 1:02. There was also a 1:47.28 win for Wang Shun in the men’s 200m freestyle two days after his 400m medley victory.

All SwimVortex articles are placed in our archive after five days, the library of content available to subscribers.
Log In Register



13 yo girl swimming 1:56 is just nuts.

What kind of protein are they feeding young swimmers these days?

Craig Lord

Jorge, domestic results show her as 2002 born; some China media references say 15, others 13. She didn’t race in FINA/international competition, so no reference beyond China at the moment. I would imagine we will have it confirmed soon … right now, I can only go on what I have from Chinese result sheets.

Jorge Abril

Thanks Craig.


Ai Yanhan’s birthdate is listed as 2002-02-07 on her Weibo account.

Craig Lord

Thanks Jordantan, that’s very helpful. Much appreciated. Can you tell me if that date order is US style or non-US (i.e., is the 7 july or the 2 february…)

Craig Lord

Jorge, see Jordanian comment: seems she is 13-14 (not sure about the date sequence in terms of month, as yet…)

KheeKin Wong

Ai Yanhan should be 13 years old. She participated in the 2016 Perth Aquatic Super Series in the 200m and 400m freestyle.

Craig Lord

Kheekin, I am waiting to confirm whether her birthday is February (she would be 14) or July (she would be 13).


Hi Craig the date format is yyyy-mm-dd.

Craig Lord

Great. Many thanks, Jordantan

Zhen Sun

Ai Yanhan and Li Bingjie are the two 2002 youngsters that stood out in last year’s Youth Nationals. Ai seems to me the better gem.

Li’s achievements are not without precedents. Xin Xin, Xu Danlu, Shao Yiwen all swam their PB in 400 free before 16 but never improved beyond that, though Xin Xin seems back in form this year. My impression is that they are all short swimmers and rely heavily on stroke rate. After they turn puberty they cannot sustain that rate so hit the wall. Correct me if this does not make sense.

Ai is a different type. She has a very long stroke, not powerful but seems efficient. I don’t remember any Chinese swimmers like her. I really look forward to the showdown in the final.


I remember an interview with Ledecky about her post-Kazan plans, and she was matter of factly ‘get my wisdom teeth out and then go back in the water to train. There’s going to be a 15 year old trying to go after me in Rio,’

Wonder if Ai, like Ledecky, is the sort to arrive on the big stage slightly ahead of schedule. And hope that her squad has a five year plan for her rather than going all out too soon in her development. It’s tempting for those surrounding a really good one to try to catch lightening in a bottle.


Yep, I remember all Xin Xin and Xu Danlu who swam 4:05 and 8:22 at the age of 13-14 yo four years ago. It was quite astonishing.
And then nothing.

It is not so uncommon to have 14 yo girls swimming very fast times in 400-800, but 200 free is a different matter. This Ai Yanyan might be something special too.

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!