2019 CHINESE NATIONALS
- March 24th – March 31st
- Swimming and Diving Hall of Qingdao Sports Center
- SwimSwam Meet Preview
- Day 1 Recap
- Day 2 Recap
- Day 3 Recap
- Day 4 Recap
- Day 5 Recap
*Note: Results are only available through Chinese app
The 6th day of the 2019 Chinese Nationals saw several teenagers take to the pool and make their marks with just 2 days to go in this World Championships-qualifying meet.
To start things off, 16-year-old Yang Junxuan took the women’s 100m freestyle title in a time of 54.28 to lead a pack of 7 women all under the 55-second threshold. Silver tonight went to Zhu Menghui, who touched just .08 later in 54.39, while Wu Yue rounded out the top 3 in 54.69.
Yang already appears on the world rankings list for this season, having thrown down a 54.43 at last year’s Youth Olympic Games. That mark rendered the teen a silver medalist behind winner Barbora Seemanová of Czech Republic.
17-year-old Zheng Xiaojing roared to the top of the men’s 100m fly field in tonight’s semi-final, stopping the clock in a mark of 52.29. That result enters Zheng into the world rankings for the season at #15, with his time representing a new lifetime best in the fly sprint.
Two-time 2018 Short Course World Championships medalist Li Zhuhao lurks as the #2 seed in the men’s 100m fly event, clocking 52.61 to flank Zheng, while Wang Shun, last night’s 200m IM victor, is 3rd entering tomorrow night’s final in 52.85.
Keeping with the teen trend, Peng Xuwei, just 15 years old, is in the pole position in the women’s 200m backstroke for tomorrow night’s final. Peng earned a morning effort of 2:10.74 to hold off Liu Yaxin and Zhang Wen, who collected respective efforts of 2:11.50 and 2:12.18.
Zhang herself is just 13 years of age. For perspective, her semi time of 2:12.18 would rank as the 11th fastest time ever done by a U.S. female in the 13-14 age group.
Another 13-year-old has put herself in the medal mix, as Wang Yichun took the top seed of the women’s 50m fly. After notching an impressive 26.10 in prelims, the teen dropped .04 to sit with a 26.06 headed into tomorrow night’s final. Wang’s time ties France’s Melanie Henique as the 5th fastest performance in the world this season.
Wang is used to being in the thick of elite swimming, having won two medals in Hangzhou as a member of China’s 4x50m medley relay and 4x100m medley relay. She also took 50m fly silver in Jakarta at the 2018 Asian Games, clocking 26.03, just slightly faster than her performance tonight.
In the last of the semi-finals, Yu Hexin got the job done in the men’s 50m free, earning the top seed in 22.27. That held of Zhu Sunxiao and He Junyi, who finished in the top 3 with times of 22.52 and 22.65, respectively.
Look for He to break through in tomorrow night’s final, however. He’s already blasted notions of Chinese sprinting by cracking the 2nd fastest 100m freestyle time ever by a man from his nation with his 48.10 stunner from last night.
In more of the medal-garnering races, Ye Shiwen continued her comeback meet with another victory to follow-up on her 200m IM win from earlier in competition. The 23-year-old double Olympic gold medalist from London fired off a winning 200m breaststroke time tonight of 2:23.46, beating the field by over a second.
Splitting 1:09.26/1:14.20, Ye’s time tonight checks-in as a huge personal best, overtaking her previous new lifetime fastest of 2:25.32 from last night’s semi-final. Ye now enters the season’s world rankings as the #2 swimmer in the world.
Silver in the women’s 200m breast race tonight went to Yu Jingyo in 2:24.61 for the 5th fastest performance in the world, while He Yun took bronze in 2:25.18.
Posting the top time in the world this season in the men’s 200m back was Xu Jiayu. The 23-year-old Olympic silver medalist in the 100m in Rio, Xu earned a winning 200m back time tonight of 1:55.65, clearing this final field by well over a second. Runner-up Li Guangyuan notched 1:57.07, while Jin Yan filled out the podium in 1:59.08.
Even though Xu now sits atop the world rankings throne, the entire 200m back field worldwide has been on the subdued side to this point. Both Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov and America’s Ryan Murphy had yet to post marks under the 1:56 threshold. But, championship season is upon us, so things will heat up among the top players.
Xu himself won the 2018 Asian Games gold in Jakarta in a speedy 1:53.99, so there’s more in the tank from this versatile ace come the main event in Gwangju.
Finally in the men’s 200m breaststroke, Qin Haiyang powered his way to the top of the podium in a monster effort of 2:08.66. That hacks just about a second off of the 2:09.65 the man put up last October at that edition of the Chinese Championships.
Qin most recently nailed silver in this event at the Short Course World Championships. In Hangzhou, Qin scored a new Chinese National Record of 2:01.64 in prelims, only to smash it to 2:01.15 in the finals. That moved Qin into the 4th slot among the fastest short course 200m breaststroke performers in history.
In the long course edition of the event, Qin holds the NR as well, with the 2:07.35 he produced two years ago. At this same competition last year, Qin produced the 2nd fastest time ever by a Chinese swimmer in 2:08.71, so tonight’s clocking overtakes that position.
Runner-up tonight was Zhang Ruixuan in a respectable 2:09.86, while 50m/100m breaststroke National Record holder Yan Zibei earned more hardware in 2:10.48 for bronze.