The final day of the 2013 Chinese National Games wrapped up with a scare for easily the oldest Chinese and Asian Record on the books in the women’s 50 free.
Women’s 50 Free – FINALS
The Shanghai women again dominated this sprint final, overall, but the big story was Chen Xinyi, who at just 15 years old won this 50 free in 24.61 – adding to her earlier win in the 100, and runner-up finish in the 200 IM.
For Chen, that put her just a lowly tenth away from the 1994 National and Asian Record of Le Jingryi. That old record was set in 1994, and is easily the oldest record in the Chinese or Continental Record books – only two other individual records, both from 2003, are more than four years old.
Chen was followed by Yang Li from the People’s Liberation Army, who took 2nd in 24.71, giving China the best 1-2 sprint tandem they’ve maybe ever seen. Tang Yi, the relative veteran of the group, took 3rd in 25.02 (she took was under 25 seconds in earlier rounds of this event).
Men’s 1500 Free – FINALS
Sun Yang wrapped up his run of 5 gold medals at this meet, including sweeping the 200, 400, and 1500 freestyles, by winning the men’s 1500 in 14:53.17. Sun pushed a little bit early in this race, to give himself a clear view of the field, but then largely seemed to cost to that winning time that was 22 seconds slower than his own World Record.
This race wasn’t a total runaway, as Yang Zhixian and Wang Kechang, both from Hunan Province, and Zu Lijun all swam into 14:58′s. A very fast last 50 meters from Yang gave him silver in 14:58.09.
Women’s 400 Medley Relay – FINALS
Shanghai already had a dominant win in the 400 free relay from earlier in this meet, and they showed that this speed would translate well to the 400 medley, as they took a two second win in 3:58.43. That included a 53.46 anchor leg from Chen Xinyi on her second swim of the day.
The home team Liaoning took silver in 4:00.63, followed by Zhejiang in 4:02.20.
Men’s 400 Medley Relay – FINALS
The men from Zhejiang were no-doubt favorites to win this relay, though they had a few different options on how to do it. Ultimately, they went with Xu Jiayu, Mao Felian, Wu Peng, and Lu Zhiwu, who cruised to a 3:34.94 gold medal. Zhiwu anchored over Sun Yang, which was probably the smart decision given that Sun was coming off of the 1500. In a perfect world, Sun may have been able to do a bit better, but with a 53.6 lead-off from Xu and a 51.5 fly leg from Wu, this race was all-but-over by the time the freestylers hit the water.
Guangdong took silver in 3:36.56, including a 1:00.13 breaststroke split from Gu Biaorong, and Shanghai was 3rd in 3:36.98.
Zhejiang completed their total and utter domination of this meet, where they won 15 gold medals in 32 events. Shanghai, a deep squad, finished with 20 total medals of their own: an impressive performance.