Nearly all the biggest names in Chinese swimming are a part of the country’s Asian Games roster, announced today just a few weeks before the Games. World Record-holding distance man Sun Yang is the headliner, back into international competition after an offseason that included a very public spat with his former coach, a car accident and a swimming suspension for driving without a license.
At Chinese Nationals, Sun was somewhat sub-par compared to his usual dominating self, so the Asian Games will be a big test to see if the crushing miler is back to the level that saw him sweep the 400 and 1500 freestyle golds at the London Olympics.
Along with Sun is a loaded stable of Chinese athletes, as the nation chose to make the Asian Games its major focus meet of the year. China was barely represented at Pan Pacs and Jr Pan Pacs, though it did make a solid statement with its young swimmers at the Youth Olympic Games.
Women’s 400 IM World Record-holder Ye Shiwen is also on the roster, as is breakout nationals backstroker Xu Jiayu, who put up the fastest men’s 100 back time of any swimmer in the world for the 2013-2014 season. 200 fly World Record-holder and 2013 World Champ Liu Zige will also compete for the women alongside World Champs medalists Fu Yuanhui (silver, 50 back) and Lu Ying (silver, 50 fly).
Though the brunt of the Chinese superstars are here, there are a few notable absences. Zhao Jing, who won gold at the Barcelona World Champs in the 50 back, is retired, as is men’s 200 fly bronze medalist Wu Peng.
Li Xuanxu, the female counterpart to Sun as the 1500 free national record-holder, did not compete at nationals and isn’t a part of this team. Other big names off the team are Olympic backstroker Chen Feiyi (didn’t compete at nationals) and women’s 100/200 free national record-holder Pang Xiaying (retired).
Bi Yirong, Cao Yue, Chen Jie, Chen Xinyi, Cheng Haihua, Fu Yuanhui, Guo Junjun, He Yuzhe, He Yun, Jiao Liuyang, Liu Lan, Liu Zige, Lu Ying, Pang Wenxian, Qiu Yuhan, Shao Yiwen, Shen Duo, Shi Jinglin, Sun Meichen, Suo Ran, Tang Yi, Wang Xueer, Xin Xin, Xu Danlu, Yao Yige, Ye Shiwen, Zhang Sishi, Zhang Xinyu, Zhang Yufei, Zhang Yuhan, Zhou Min, Zhou Yilin
Hao Yun, Hou Mingda, Huang Chaosheng, Jin Yan, Li Guangyuan, Li Xiang, Li Yusen, Li Yunqi, Li Zhuhao, Lin Yongqin, Liu Junwu, Ma Xiang, Mao Feilian, Ning Zetao, Shang Keyuan, Shi Yang, Sun Xiaolei, Sun Yang, Wang Shun, Wang Kecheng, Wang Pudong, Wang Shuai, Wang Yuxin, Xu Jiayu, Xu Qiheng, Yang Zhixian, Yu Hexin, Zhang Qibing, Zhang Yu