Ye Shiwen Says She’s Over Her Annus Horribilis

Ye Shiwen (photo: Aniko Kovaks)

Chinese bolter of 2012, Olympic double medley champion Ye Shiwen has put her relatively poor 2013 form down to weight gain and a growth spurt that caused her sleepless nights. As she left the East Asia Games in Tianjin, the 17-year-old told Xinhua that she felt she had “woken from a nightmare” and was back on track after an annus horribilis.

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Chinese bolter of 2012, Olympic double medley champion Ye Shiwen has put her relatively poor 2013 form down to weight gain and a growth spurt that caused her sleepless nights. As she left the East Asia Games in Tianjin, the 17-year-old told Xinhua that she felt she had “woken from a nightmare” and was back on track after an annus horribilis.

Comments

Bossanova

Not even her excuses make sense. Usually a growth spurt makes swimmers go faster. Not the case with Ye Shiwen….

Triguy

No not always. Growth spurts have damaged the careers of many swimmers. Technique can fly out the window, using muscles that have suddenly developed and are stronger, some need to change their stroke, plus extra weight can be difficult to adapt to at first physically, let alone mentally

Craig Lord

Ye was certainly ‘heftier’ in look in Barcelona – but that did not account for the difference between splits of 58.6 and 1:02.61 over the last 100m of much faster and much slower 400IM swims London to Barcelona…(1:01.07 when on 4:31 at All-China Games for a much swifter swim than that 6 weeks or so earlier … and therefore around the same weight… hard to imagine she would have lost 10lbs in the month of harder training she may have put in between meets and have that account for a 7sec drop on a 400m swim)

spw

She actually went 4:34s in heats at Barcelona and at their Trials in April, so why do you keep mentioning that 4:38 in the final ? Could be she wasn’t feeling well and didn’t give her all in that particular race. After losing some weight in training, she went 4:31 at the China Games so it’s a drop of 3 secs from Barcelona, not 7 secs.

Also, a 4:31 is a very fast time for a post-Olympic year, only 3 secs off her 4:28 in Olympic year. I’d say she has done very well this year too. Similarly, Klochkova went 4:36 in post-Olympic year after a 4:33 in Olympic year. Stephanie Rice was also around 3 secs off her 4:29 in post-Olympic year.

Craig Lord

Whether 4:34 or 4:31 or 4:38… it is the last 100m freestyle that remains in focus… an aberration that draws the eye and will do for a long time to come. Rice was not 3 plus seconds off just on freestyle…neither was Klochkova … all the world’s top 400IM swimmers of the past 20 plus years had a fairly consistent range on splits throughout their careers… faster or slower times rarely come from one stroke … it is significant and comparing with other women medley swimmers doesn’t wash in this case… Ye’s pattern is off the chart.

spw

I’d call it remarkable, a Beamonesque performance (if it’s legit of course).

Anyway, it’s not a 100m event but a 400m event which pacing does help, so should perhaps look at the overall splits. She went out in 2:11, around 2 seconds slower than her 2:09 from the 4:31 swim in heats, so obviously she paced herself better in the final and has more energy to spare for her incredible back half of the race.

Bill

As Janet Evans grew, she got slower too……

Craig Lord

Ys, across the whole swim, like many others

Craig Lord

However you look at it, however anyone justifies it, she did something that no other woman in history has come anywhere close to doing: ‘pacing’ a world record with a last 100m of a 400m on average 3sec faster than the rest capable of making an Olympic final and more than 2sec faster than the average historic splits of any Olympic or world title winner among women stands out – and how – on any measure or reasoning, in my view

XtremePower

What Katie Ledecky had done is even more extraordinary than Ye. Why don’t you mention that?

Craig Lord

We have mentioned it – lots of times – and it is not more extraordinary than Ye, nor does it compare to Ye’s case on a number of levels.

spw

In the 400m IM final at 2007 Worlds, Katie Hoff also paced her race very well in a world record swim. She went out in 2:14 and then unleashed a 2nd last 100m split of 75 secs in the breaststroke leg, which was around 5 seconds faster than the closest breaststroke split in the race.

Craig Lord

In 2007, Katie Hoff’s best 200m breaststroke was 1.5sec faster than the closest 200m breaststroke best time of any other in the race – and between 4 and 8.5sec better than the bests of the rest. You’re not going to convince me. Ye’s swim was an aberration

spw

Ye’s best 200m freestyle in 2012 was a 1:56, which should be around 1.5 seconds faster than the rest.

Craig Lord

Not true… 1:58.77 was her official season best and lifetime best in 2012… and, oddly, her lifetime best is from this “off” year: 1:57.54

spw

The 2012 rankings on their official website listed her best time as 1:56, apparently as a relay lead-off split. Could be at their trials.

Craig Lord

I don’t know where you saw that but it is not correct. (There are no relays at Chinese trials… relays are chosen from solo events). On the FINA rankings and on our rankings, her best relay split of the year was 1:57.37 and Ye’s 1:58.77 – her 2012 best – ranked her 9th in China last year on a list led by a 1:57.26. Ye has never swum a solo inside 1:57.5. And none of this changes the 58.6 last 100m split that made her as fast as the men coming home (and to a world record at that – this is not like a local meet where the fast kid holds back and then blasts the last 100m like they were fresh… it was an Olympic final against very seriously fit athletes in the other lanes) … an aberration, no question.

spw

They always have relays at their National Championships, with swimmers competing for their provinces. Sometimes, even additional relays involving Top 16 swimmers in individual events. Just confirmed via Google that there were relays at their 2012 Trials.

I saw Ye’s 1:56 in the rankings posted on China Swimming Association’s official website right before the Olympics. They’ve likely used the relay as a time trial because her 200m IM clashed with 200m freestyle on Day 4 of the schedule.

Certainly an amazing swim – pacing and race strategies pretty much played their part too.

Craig Lord

I checked with FINA: no such swim was ever submitted. It doesn’t exist, as far as the rest of the world is aware. And yet all other swims from all China meets have been submitted. Her best in 2012 was 1:58.7. That’s the official record. Send me the link that shows the Chinese rankings 🙂 …

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