At the 2013 World Championships, we saw China’s World Record holder Sun Yang swim a lighter schedule of just the 400, 800, and 1500 freestyles individually after questions arose over how well-conditioned he was following a bit of a post-Olympic break. That meant no individual 200 free, where he won Olympic silver in 2012.
He clearly seemed in somewhat less shape than he had been in London, but his out of shape still dominated everybody else’s best, as he swept the titles in the 400, 800, and 1500 freestyles in Barcelona.
With the importance placed on the Chinese National Games (many in the Chinese swimming community have told us that they suspect there are swimmers who saved their tapers for this meet, and it is considered as the top sporting event shy of the Olympics), Sun won’t be holding back as he represents his native Zhejang region. Athletes compete for regions based on major metropolises, including a separate People’s Liberation Army team.
Athletes represent where their training base is, which is usually, but not always, where they were born and raised. Sun and Ye Shiwen both represent the powerhouse Zhejang reason, as do Fu Yuanhui, Wu Peng, Wang Shun, Xu Jiayu, and others.
Sun will swim the 100 free, 200 free, 400 free, and 1500 free individually, and will be a favorite in all of them. Meanwhile, his fellow Chinese World Record holder Shiwen Ye will swim the 200 back, the 200 IM, and the 400 IM.
These are the only entries that have been widely reported so far.
The full Games officially start on August 31st, though some competitions (including diving) have already begun Thursday. The pool swimming portion will follow the Olympic schedule and run from Wednesday, September 4th through Wednesday, September 11th. 10km open water races will be held on September 2nd and 3rd.