We’re down to the final day of the 2014 Asian Games, which will feature Sun Yang‘s quest to repeat as the men’s 1500 free champ, plus China’s Ye Shiwen in the shorter of the two IM distances. The 1500 will save its fastest heat for finals, but Ye will be in the water for prelims of the 200 IM. Also on the docket for prelims are the women’s 50 free, men’s 50 breast, women’s 200 back and men’s 4×100 medley relay.
Stay tuned for event-by-event recaps of tonight’s action.
2014 ASIAN GAMES – SWIMMING
- Sunday, September 21st-Friday, September 26th
- Incheon, South Korea
- Prelims/Finals: 9AM/7PM local time
- Event website
- Entry lists
- Meet results
- W 50 Free
- M 50 Breast
- W 200 Back
- M 1500 Free (timed final, fastest heat at night)
- W 200 IM
- M 4×100 Medley Relay
Women’s 50 Free
- World Record: 23.73 – Britta Steffen, Germany (2009)
- Asian Record: 24.51 – Le Jingyi, China (1994)
- Asian Games Record: 24.97 – Li Zhesi, China (2010)
Japan’s Miki Uchida has had a good couple of weeks, breaking a short course Japanese record at the intercollegiate championships a few weeks ago and then taking the top seed out of prelims here in the 50. Uchida was 25.35 to win her heat and take an inside lane for tonight’s final.
Her top challenger was in her same preliminary heat. That was China’s Chen Xinyi, who is just two one-hundredths back at 25.37. China’s second swimmer, Tang Yi, is the third qualifier at 25.58. Yi was the silver medalist in the 100 free earlier this week.
Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey went 25.72 to get in just ahead of the second Japanese swimmer Yayoi Matsumoto and her 25.78.
Men’s 50 Breast
- World Record: 26.62 – Adam Peaty, Great Britain (2014)
- Asian Record: 27.30 – Kosuke Kitajima, Japan (2010)
- Asian Games Record: 27.80 – Xie Zhi, China (2010)
So far, the breaststrokes have been a sweep for breakout Kazakhstan star Dimitry Balandin. But the 50 looks like it may end that trend, as Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki put himself in front out of prelims. Koseki was 27.92, the only man under 28 and the top seed by a runaway of three tenths.
Second went to India’s Sandeep Sejwal at 28.25, and that came out of one of the early heats. Korea’s Kim Myunghwan took third overall, finishing just behind Koseki in the final heat at 28.45.
Then came Balandin, who is sitting just out of the medals heading into the final at 28.49. He’s followed by a pair of Chinese swimmers: Wang Shuai (28.57) and Ma Xiang (28.58).
Women’s 200 Back
- World Record: 2:04.06 – Missy Franklin, USA (2012)
- Asian Record: 2:06.46 – Zhao Jing, China (2010)
- Asian Games Record: 2:06.46 – Zhao Jing, China (2010)
China has so far won 13 of 16 gold medals on the women’s side, but Japan is looking to dent that number on the final night. For the second women’s event in a row, it’s a Japanese swimmer on top. In the 200 back, Sayaka Akase went 2:11.35 for top billing out of prelims.
With only two heats and 14 total swimmers, the top names didn’t have to hit their morning swims too hard, and most didn’t. China’s Chen Jie was 2:12.93 for the second seed, followed by Japan’s second (Marie Kamimura at 2:13.83) and Vietnam’s top overall swimmer Vien Nguyen (2:13.96).
Hong Kong’s Claudia Lau sits fifth at 2:14.32, and only after that came China’s Fu Yuanhui, who has swept the backstroke races thus far. Fu was 2:14.53 to qualify sixth overall.
Men’s 1500 Free (slowest heat)
- World Record: 14:31.02 – Sun Yang, China (2012)
- Asian Record: 14:31.02 – Sun Yang, China (2012)
- Asian Games Record: 14:35.43 – Sun Yang, China (2010)
The men’s mile is swum as timed finals, with the slower of the two heats competing in the morning and the faster heat swimming with finals at night.
The time to beat for tonight’s finalists comes from Chinese Taipei’s Cho Cheng Chi, who went 15:40.54 to win the early heat. Cho had an inauspicious start, running 5th for the first 100. He moved up some from there, battling for third until about the 600 mark when he started finding another gear. He had the early leader, Malaysia’s Sim Welson Wee Sheng, caught by the 850-mark and extended his lead from there.
Sim hung on for second place, not too far back at 15:43.04. Sitting third right now is Huang Guo Ting, also of Chinese Taipei. Huang was the last man under 16, going 15:50.30.
Women’s 200 IM
- World Record: 2:06.15 – Ariana Kukors, USA (2009)
- Asian Record: 2:07.57 – Ye Shiwen, China (2012)
- Asian Games Record: 2:09.37 – Ye Shiwen, China (2010)
China’s Ye Shiwen took her next step in trying to sweep the IM titles at the Asian Games for the second-straight games. Shiwen was a leisurely 2:11.20 this morning to win her heat and nab the top spot for the final. Shiwen led the entire way, putting up the best fly and back splits of anyone in any heat, though she likely backed off her legendary freestyle, and only put up the field’s second-fastest split there.
It’s a pair of Japanese women trying to run her down. Second seed is the first heat winner, Miho Teramura, at 2:13.91. Kanako Watanabe sits third at 2:14.08. Both Japanese swimmers appear to have an advantage on breaststroke, but it’ll be tough to stay ahead of Ye, who closes her IMs like a freight train.
China’s Zhou Min had the best freestyle split in trying to run down Teramura in the first heat, and she now sits fourth in 2:15.45.
Korea’s Kim Seoyeong is fifth at 2:16.20, and Uzbekistan will be represented in this final by Ranokhon Amanova, who went 2:16.56.
Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay
- World Record: 3:27.28 – USA (2009)
- Asian Record: 3:30.74 – Japan (2009)
- Asian Games Record: 3:34.10 – Japan (2010)
The final event of these Asian Games is the men’s medley relay, where Japan looks to defend its title and perhaps challenge its own meet record. They lead things out of prelims, though China is close enough to keep things interesting.
Japan went 3:40.00 with their top swimmers putting up solid, but unspectacular splits and relatively safe starts. Ryosuke Irie was 54.13 on backstroke, and should be plenty faster in the final. Same goes for Yasuhiro Koseki, fresh off his top seed in the 50 breast. Koseki split 1:00.61, which is just a tick slower than he was in the open 100. Hirofumi Ikebata was 54.14 on butterfly and Shinri Shioura was just over 50 seconds on the anchor leg.
China’s 3:41.69 puts them second, and came courtesy of a stronger back half. Youth Olympic Games hero Yu Hexin was 50.10 in the morning, but expect him to be much, much faster at night. Butterflyer Wang Yuxin was also a bit faster than his Japanese counterpart, splitting 53.67. Also on the relay were Jin Yan and Mao Feilan, but it’s likely that the team will swap out most or all of its legs, using fresh swimmers for finals. One would expect 100 back silver medalist Xu Jiayu to lead off, 100 fly silver medalist Li Zhuhao to hold down that stroke and sprint star Ning Zetao to close things out.
Korea was 3:44.02 for third place with the team of Im Taejeong, Ju Janghun, Yun Seokhwan and Kim Sungkyum. There’s a good bet that national hero Park Taehwan ends up on that relay in finals, though.
I know that this is a bit out of context 🙂 but I thought, since we are talking about 1500 freestyle, you might enjoy this video of a sprint race between Greg Paltrinieri and Sarah Sjostrom, which I already posted elsewhere
Is it just me or is there a common theme at these Games where the record holders from anywhere up to 2012 aren’t swimming anymore. It seems very rare that either the Asian Record Holder or the Games record holder is in the competition still if the records are set before 2012. Is this something to do with the high turn over of Asian swimmers (i am just going off how young they come into the spot light and then are replaced by younger people). I know there are some exceptions; Irie, Hagino, Park, Sun Yang etc