2015 Swammy Awards: Sun Yang, Asian Male Swimmer of the Year

Check out all of our 2015 Swammy Awards here.

2015 Asian Male Swimmer of the Year: Sun Yang

It’s an odd year for China’s Sun Yang to win this award, given his most-talked about race of the year was the one he failed to show up for.

The world record-holder was a no-show in the 1500 free at the 2015 FINA World Championships, citing a heart problem during warmups as rumors swirled about an altercation with a female swimmer in a warmup pool during prelims (an incident the Chinese swimming federation and FINA said was unrelated to his late scratch).


Photo Credit: Peter Sukenik/www.petersukenik.com

But that craziness aside, what’s maybe most impressive about Sun’s year was that he earns this award even despite a chaotic situation that left him without a swim in arguably his best event.

Sun was a double gold-medalist at Worlds, and nearly pulled off an impressive sweep of the 200, 400 and 800 frees. Sun was just .06 out of gold medal status in the shortest of those races, a distance man swimming right in the hunt with swimmers focused much more on the middle distances.

His 400 and 800 times (3:42.58 and 7:39.96, respectively) were dominating, and wound up leading the world rankings by respectable margins. Meanwhile, Sun’s three medals made up nearly a quarter of China’s total in the pool, and his home nation sat solidly second in the overall medal tally at meet’s end.

Honorable Mention:

In no particular order.

  • Daiya Seto, Kosuke Hagino - 2014 Pan Pacific Championships (courtesy of Scott Davis)

    Daiya Seto, Kosuke Hagino – 2014 Pan Pacific Championships (courtesy of Scott Davis)

    Ning Zetao, China: Ning’s 100 free title at the World Championships was one of the most impressive wins of the year, considering the field he beat. Ning became the first Chinese man ever to win the 100 free at the World Championships, a sign of China’s rise as a sprint nation in addition to its distance prowess.

  • Kosuke Hagino, Japan: This award sure felt like Hagino’s to lose until the versatile Japanese superstar fell off a bike at a Japanese National Team training camp and injured his elbow, taking him out of contention for Worlds. Even without a World Champs appearance, Hagino garners honorable mention for his numerous swims still ranked in the top 5 worldwide for the year.
  • Joseph Schooling, Singapore: Schooling won Singapore’s first-ever medal at the FINA World Championships, taking third in the 100 fly in a new Asian record. Though the competition was considerably less-intense, Schooling also dominated the Southeast Asian Games in historic fashion, winning 9 gold medals. His two-win (plus one relay win) performance at the NCAA Championships was another big 2015 weekend for the rising star.
  • Daiya Seto, Japan: With Hagino injured, Seto picked up the slack for Japan, winning the World Championships gold medal in the 400 IM, Japan’s only medal on the men’s side.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

1 Comment
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Coach Nico
7 years ago

I do have to agree with Mark’s comment on this topic. There at least two atheltes on this list that shouldn’t be on there no matter what they may have achieved this past year.

There must be somewhat of a formula as FINA has one to award this or college swimming doesn’t get real consideration as not all can easily participate. However, looking at the list above, Joseph Schooling would be my pick.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

Read More »