The struggles in Rio continue for Ning Zetao of China. Last summer Ning won the men’s 100 freestyle at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan posting a time of 47.84 and was considered one of the favourites to win the same event in Rio. In the semi-finals of the 100 freestyle on Tuesday evening he had a shocking result putting up a time of 48.37 finishing 12th missing the final all together.
His was not the only poor performance in Rio by someone who was extremely successful in Kazan just a year ago. The 2015 silver medalist Cam McEvoy of Australia finished seventh while the bronze medalist from Kazan Federico Grabich of Argentina finished 22nd.
Today in the prelims of the 50 freestyle Ning missed the semi-finals recording a time of time of 22.38 which put him 30th. In fact he was not the fastest Chinese athlete in Rio as Yu Hexin recorded a 22.20, but also finished outside of the top 16 placing 20th.
Although the 100 freestyle was an extremely surprising result Ning missing the semi-finals in the shorter distance is not a huge development. At the World Championships in Kazan he ultimately finished 15th recording a time of 22.28. His prelims time at the World Championships of 22.43 was slower than the time he posted today in Rio.