2016 Asian Championships: Team China Kicks Off With Impressive Wins

2016 ASIAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 10th edition of the Asian Swimming Championships, which kicked off today in Tokyo, already set a fast and furious tone, as 8 championship records and 1 national record fell on just day 1 of the 4-day affair. Japan and China lead the swimming medal totals after today, but Vietnam chimed in with one gold, as did South Korea.

The first championship record fell in the form of the men’s 50m breaststroke, where China’s Zibei Yan and Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki tied for the top time of the morning in 27.94. That mark surpassed the previous meet best of 28.03. But, only one of the aforementioned was able to fire off a time fast enough to ultimately take the Asian Championships title in the event, as Koseki won gold in a new meet record mark of 27.62. Zibei would wind up 4th in 27.85.

China surged to the top of the men’s 100m butterfly race, as World Junior Record holder Li Zhuao claimed gold in a new championship record time. After earning a swift mark of 52.66 in the morning, the 17-year-old cranked out a time of 52.00 tonight, overtaking the old championship mark of 52.04. The teen swimmer beat out Olympic silver medalist in the 200m butterfly, Japanese swimmer Masato Sakai, who tied with countrymate Takeshi Kawamoto for silver in 52.77.

Park Tae Hwan of Korea scorched the field in the men’s 200m freestyle, taking the Asian Championships title in a mighty 1:45.16. The 2008 Olympic Champion has been on-fire as of late, having earned a mark of 1:45.01 in this event at his nation’s Sports Festival last month. That time would have scored silver behind China’s Sun Yang, the gold medalist in the men’s 200m freestyle in Rio.

It was a battle of the teens in the women’s 100m freestyle race, as 17-year-old Chinese swimmer Zhu Menghui went head-to-head with 16-year-old Japanese record holder Rikako Ikee. Menghui, a member of her nation’s 4x100m freestyle relay in Rio, ended up on top, touching in 53.44 for a new championship record. Ikee stopped the clock just .12 of a second behind, earning 53.68 to take the silver. For Ikee, tonight’s performance shaves .01 of a second off of her own national record mark of 53.69 set at her nation’s Olympic Trials in June of this year.

The 400m IM championship record went down in both the men’s and women’s versions of the event tonight in Tokyo. After surpassing the old mark of 4:16.59 with his morning swim of 4:16.28, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Daiya Seto blazed to the top of the podium with a final time of 4:10.17. Vietnamese Olympian Thi Anh Vien Nguyen blasted a new championship record for the women, stopping the clock at 4:37.71. That time laid waste to the old mark of 4:41.29.

Additional Winners

  • China’s Yuanhui Fu won the women’s 50m backstroke in a mark of 27.86, the only sub-28-second time of the field.
  • The women’s 200m butterfly saw China’s Yilin Zhou win in a time of 2:07.40, followed by teammate Yufei Zhang‘s 2:08.50.
  • China also wrangled in two relay wins on the night, taking the men’s 4×100 medley relay and the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay, both in championship record-setting marks of 3:33.43 and 7:54.98, respectively.

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About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

Loretta grew up outside Toledo, OH, where she swam age group and high school. Graduating from Xavier University, she stayed in the Cincinnati, OH area and currently resides just outside the city in Northern KY.  Loretta got back into the sport of swimming via Masters and now competes and is …

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