China Announces Rio Olympic Roster: Ye in 400 IM, Wang and Qiu Out

China has announced its Olympic roster for the 2016 Rio Olympics, with two notable absences: junior world record-holding breaststroker Wang Lizhuo and top-10 world ranked 200 freestyler Qiu Yuhan.

The roster includes most of the other really notable Chinese swimmers. Sun Yang will swim the 200, 400 and 1500 frees. Ning Zetao is entered in the 50 and 100 frees. And in what is only somewhat a surprise, 2012 Olympic champ and world record-holder Ye Shiwen will contest both the 200 IM and 400 IM – she appeared to be on the outs in the 400 after a rough swim at Chinese Nationals, owing to what was rumored to be a stomach illness.

The most glaring absences are Wang and Qiu, both 18-and-unders:

Wang’s absence is a bit more explainable. The 17-year-old set the junior world record in the boys 100 breaststroke earlier this year, but also tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned substance. Originally, it appeared Wang would only face a monetary fine as punishment, but there was always a chance he would be left off of China’s Olympic roster as well.

He ranked 9th in the world with a 59.60 in the 100 breast this year, and had an outside chance to medal. He’s also considerably faster than the next-best candidate for the breaststroke leg on China’s medley relay.

Qiu is more of a mystery. The youngest swimmer on the Chinese Olympic roster in 2012, a 14-year-old Qiu swam on the women’s 4×100 free relay that took 4th. Last summer, she led off the Chinese 4×200 free relay in 1:56.88 – the second-best split on the relay and the 15th-fastest swim in the world for the season.

She had been even better this year, going 1:55.84 at Chinese Nationals in April and holding the 8th-best time in the world.

Qiu’s absence is a considerable blow to the Chinese 4×200 free relay, which will now need some huge swims to challenge the American relay for gold, and may have to scrape just to get back onto the medal podium.

Here’s the full roster:


50/100 free: Ning Zetao, Yu Hexin
200 free: Sun Yang, Shang Keyuan
400/1500 free: Sun Yang, Qiu Ziao
100/200 back: Xu Jiayu, Li Guangyuan
100 breast: Li Xiang, Yan Zibei
200 breast: Li Xiang, Mao Feilian
100 fly: Li Zhuhao, Zhang Qibin
200 fly: Li Zhuhao, Wu Yuhang
200 IM: Wang Shun, Hu Yixuan
400 IM: Wang Shun
4×100 free: Li Yongqin/He Jianbin/Liu ZhaoChen/Ning Zetao/Yu Hexin
4×100 Med: Xu Jiayu/Li Xiang/Li Zhuhao/Ning Zetao


50 free: Liu Xiang, Chen Xinyi
100 free: Shen Duo, Zhu Menghui
200 free: Shen Duo, Ai Yanhan
400 free: Zhang Yuhan, Cao yew
800 free: Zhang Yuhan, Hou Yawen
100 back: Fu Yuanhui, Wang Xueer
200 back: Chen Jie, Liu Yaxin
100 breast: Shi Jinglin, Yu Jingyao
200 breast: Shi Jinglin, Zhang Xinyu
100 fly: Lu Ying, Chen Xinyi
200 fly: Zhang Yufei, Zhou Yilin
200/400 IM: Ye Shiwen, Zhou Min
4×100 free: Tang Yi/Sun Meichen/Tang Yuting/Shen Duo/Zhu Menghui
4×200 free: Shen Duo/Ai Yanhan/Wang Shijia/Dong Jie
4×100 Med: Fu Yuanhui/Shi Jinglin/Chen Xinyi/Shen Duo

In This Story


  1. Rafael says:

    With Wang out now the medley relay shape is much different..

    China was pretty ahead of the rest of contenders for Third Place.. now that difference has dropped a lot.. if not nulified..

    • He Gets It Done Again says:

      Not really, Wang’s best time was a 59.60, but they have Yan Zibei who went 59.91 earlier this year. And they might even put in Li Xiang for prelims; he’s been 1:00.13.

  2. Hswimmer says:

    Ye will somehow get into the final like always.. She could challenge for a medal again if she’s “back to normal.”

  3. Hswimmer says:

    Shen and fu should be switched for the Medley relay.

  4. Swimmer1 says:

    Any idea when FINA will announce the entire list of participants?

  5. Chinafan says:

    Just a hunch: Ai Yanhan will be the dark horse of women’s 200 free.

  6. thomaslurzfan says:

    Not surprised at all to see Shiwen in womens 400 IM and Yang in mens 1500 free, although many people didnt want to believe it. The question is: Do they swim those events, because they really think that they can win them or did the chinese officials pressure them to swim those events?
    Huge blow for the chinese mens medley relay and the chinese womens 800 free relay. I think their womens relay will still take the silver medal ahead of Australia, but the fight for the bronze in mens medley relay might now be open, USA and Australia should win gold and silver.
    I think the bronze in mens medley relay will be between Russia, Japan and maybe GB.

    • Rafael says:

      Thomas.. fastest add up times coming to Rio (Except US)
      AUS: 3:30:7
      China: 3:32:2
      Russia: 3:32:3
      Brazil: 3:35:5
      GBR: 3:32:9
      JPN 3:33:3

      I would put JPN out and Brazil in.. But China is still in as their 2nd breaststroker is 59,9

      • Rafael says:

        Also Italy add up time is 3:33:3 too now!

      • thomaslurzfan says:

        Brazil wont win anything with 3:35.5 …
        I think Germany is at 3:33.51 (Glania 53.61, Vom Lehn 59.87, Deibler 51.49, Wierling 48.54). Glania and Wierling should drop time by Rio, but Vom Lehn and Deibler might be slower in Rio. I think if everything works perfectly for us in the next couple of weeks, then we could be at 3:32.6 – 3:32.8 by Rio and i dont think that GB, Brazil, Japan or Italy will be much faster, but Russia should be out of reach and they clearly have a more “balanced” relay than Italy, GB or Brazil. I think bronze will be between China and Russia.

        How is Italy at 3:33.3 now, i think Martinenghi wont swim in Rio? I doubt that he would be able to repeat his time anyway.

      • Track says:

        For reference USA is 3:29.78
        Plummer 52.12
        Cordes 58.94
        Phelps 51.00
        Adrian 47.72

        USA could set a WR this year
        Murphy/Plummer 52.01
        Cordes 58.33
        Phelps 50.02
        Adrian 46.62
        Pretty realistic splits with a 3:26.98

    • Attila the Hunt says:

      Losing Qiu Yuhan is a bigger blow for China than losing Wang.
      With Yuhan, they may challenge USA in 4×200, but now they will have to worry about securing silver.

      • thomaslurzfan says:

        Their mens medley relay might end up without a medal now, especially Wang very well couldve dropped time until Rio considering his age. Their womens 800 free relay is still safe to win a medal and they never had a chance to challenge the US (at least in my opinion).

        • thomaslurzfan says:

          What is a bigger “downgrade”, bronze -> no medal (mens medley relay) or silver -> bronze (womens 800 free relay)? Of course their mens medley relay could still win bronze and their womens 800 free relay could still win silver, but in my opinion their womens 800 free relay has a bigger advantage over the australian relay than their medley relay over the russian medley relay.

      • commonwombat says:

        Who do they have to worry about, they’re still a very secure bet for silver. Every other team outside USA & CHN fall away to 1.57high/1.58 for their 3rd/4th legs. They may as well send out a search party to find a bronze medallist !!

        • Peter says:

          Australia, Hungary, GB, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy in the mixq

        • Patrick S says:

          They actually have a lot to worry about. With Qui Yuhan on the team they were 1.5s ahead of Australia on season bests. Without her they are behind Australia. If Louise Hansson can get down to the times she did last year then China wouldn´t be far ahead of Sweden either (that is a big if, considering how Louise´s swimming have looked this season, but there´s been some promising signs lately so it´s certainly not impossible).

  7. Attila the Hunt says:

    FINA has not made their decision regarding Wang and his two comrades who were only given warning by the Chinese Federation. In April FINA said that it was “reviewing the cases”.
    Now that mcLaren report is out, FINA will definitely try to look tough against doping and may impose tougher punishment by taking the case to CAS.
    So I think Wang Lizhuo is left out because China doesn’t want to risk losing Wang at the last minute.

  8. tea rex says:

    To the best of my knowledge, China never released the names of 3 out of the 6 swimmers who failed drug tests (after being exposed by the New York Times).

    Call me cynical, but I believe the ultimate team selection had a lot to do with who could credibly pass a drug screen by August.

    • InsideInfo says:

      The identities of those three athletes are widely known in the Chinese swimming community. They were banned from the spring selection meet and they are not on the current team although at least two of them have A qualifying time.

      • NotSoFastSwimmer says:

        If only the chinese administration were more transparent, then may be the world can trust them more, but alas…

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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