16-Yr-Old Zhang Zhanshuo Takes 800 Free On Night 4 Of Chinese Nationals


Day 4 of the 2024 Chinese National Swimming Championships brought about more qualifiers for this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris, France.

We reviewed the list of qualifiers thus far through day 3, with the fastest times across the 2023 World Championships, 2024 World Championships and this competition counting towards selection.

16-year-old Zhang Zhanshuo held his own in the men’s 800 freestyle tonight, capturing gold in an Olympic-worthy time of 7:47.84.

The 2023 World Junior Championships multi-medalist just got the edge over Fei Liwei who settled for silver only .02 behind in 7:47.86. Zhao Zhihao rounded out the podium in 7:59.11.

For teenager Zhang, his time tonight represents a new lifetime best and first-ever foray under the 7:50 barrier. Entering this competition his PB sat at the 7:50.03 from earning bronze in Netanya last year.

Fei’s outing also represents a career-quickest mark, surpassing the 7:49.90 from becoming last year’s Asian Games silver medalist.

The pair rank 3rd and 4th in the all-time Chinese men’s 800m freestyle rankings and both comfortably cleared the World Aquatics Olympic Qualification Time of 7:51.65.

All-Time Chinese Men’s 800 Freestyle Performers

  1. Zhang Lin – 7:32.12, 2009
  2. Sun Yang – 7:38.57, 2011
  3. Zhang Zhanshuo – 7:47.84
  4. Fei Liwei – 7:47.86
  5. Zhang Ziyang – 7:51.86, 2021

The women’s 100m backstroke final also took place tonight with 19-year-old Wan Letian leading the charge.

Wan touched in 59.02 for a healthy advantage over Wang Xueer who snagged runner-up status in 59.61. Peng Xuwei clocked 59.71 to snare bronze.

Wan’s result checks in as a new lifetime best, overtaking the 59.19 registered at last year’s Chinese Nationals. She is the reigning Asian Games champion having posted 59.38 for gold in Hangzhou.

Wang has been as quick as 58.99 from last year’s nationals. Both Wang and Wang dipped under the OQT of 59.99 needed for Paris.


  • Reigning world record holder Pan Zhanle fired off a big-time semi-final swim of 47.54 to land lane 4 for tomorrow night’s men’s 100m free final. The 19-year-old clocked the sole result of the field under the 48-second barrier, with Chen Juner opting out of the 200m fly to focus on this event with a semi result of 48.39. Liu Wudi and Wang Haoyu are also in the mix, carrying outings of 48.55 and 48.60, respectively. Pan became the world record holder in this event when he led off his nation’s 4x100m free relay this year in Doha. He punched 46.80 to slice .06 off the former WR mark Romanian David Popovici put on the books at the 2022 European Championships.
  • Later in tonight’s competition, Pan produced a head-turning split of 1:44.72 on his squad’s 4x200m free relay. He won the individual 200m free last night in 1:45.68.
  • Wang Xizhe led the men’s 200m fly semi’s posting a time of 1:58.33 as one of two swimmers under the 2:00 threshold. Joining him was Song Mingxuan in 1:59.87. Chen Nuo earned the 3rd seed in 2:00.02.
  • Last night’s 200m free gold medalist Yang Junxuan staked her claim on the 100m free, posting a solid semi outing of 53.00. That holds a slight advantage over versatile ace Zhang Yufei who notched 53.27 followed by Wu Qingfeng‘s time of 53.40. The 400m free champion and 200m free runner-up here Li Bingjie lurks as the 4th-seeded athlete in 53.55.
  • World record holder Qin Haiyang was also in the water this evening to take on the 200m breast contest. The 24-year-old played it cool with a casual 2:10.05 to earn the pole position, well off his WR mark of 2:05.48 put up last year in Fukuoka. Dong Zhihao, the world junior record holder in this event is lined up as the 2nd seed in 2:11.17.

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Lebrun jamus
1 month ago

Doping once again never can trust them

Lebrun jamus
1 month ago

Chinese dopers

1 month ago

OMG The drugs are oozing out of them.

1 month ago

good boy

1 month ago

Liu Wudi has joined in the discussion for the relay. 48.55 at 19. Didn’t swim the individual free at last year’s world juniors, but his splits were good. 49 and 1:48.5

Reply to  Boz
1 month ago

And 1:47 yesterday for 5th

1 month ago

Zhang Zhanshuo may have an interesting decision to make if he makes the 800fr final given that the 4×2 is in the same session.

Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

I think it’s a no-brainer for him to scratch the 800

Reply to  Tencor
1 month ago

I’d agree if China looked competitive for gold, but on what we have seen so far, they simply aren’t. Obviously, Pan could drop a rocket, but he will have 100fr heats and SF the same day, and potentially 4×2 heats too as China don’t look very deep right now (particularly if Wang Haoyu qualifies in the 100 with him).

Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

Well it’s probably still a better strategy to go all in for that 15% chance of winning Bronze rather than 0% chance of medaling in the 800

Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

Could use Wang Shun for the relay… or give Sun Yang a late entrance to the team.

1 month ago

Day 4 finals stream:


Video starts at 8:30pm
8:30pm 100m free semis M
8:42pm 200m butterfly semis M
8:56pm 100m back W
9:02pm 800m free M
9:15pm 100m free semis W
9:27pm 200m breast semis M 
9:46pm 4x200m relay M

1 month ago

At 16, is he too young for the doping program?

Reply to  Hmm
1 month ago

Well according to Euphoria 16 is not really too young for dopes.

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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