China Now Saying Pre-Competition Tests Won’t Decide Olympic Fate

The controversial pre-competition fitness tests imposed at the Chinese Swimming Championships earlier this month are now reportedly not going to factor into who does and doesn’t make the Olympic team.

If you followed our coverage of the 2020 Chinese Swimming Championships, then you know only those swimmers who passed the pre-competition physical tests standard could qualify for the championships finals. The swimmers took part in vertical jumps, 30-meter sprints, pull-ups, trunk muscle strength training, and 3,000-meter runs in the two-day physical tests, with only the top 8 performers able to advance in the pool.

Swimmers in the high-caliber tier such as Qin Hiayang and Wang Jianjiahe were shut out of finals due to not having finished high enough in the testing.

At the time, Zhou Jihong, president of the Chinese Swimming Association, said that ‘domestic athletes lack basic physical training, and the new rule will only make them stronger.’ As such, these pre-competition fitness tests will continue at future meets.

Flash forward to today, however, and the Chinese officials have changed their tune.

As reported by South China Morning Post yesterday, Deputy Director of the General Administration of Sport of China (GAS), Li Jianming said of the testing, “This is not a fundamental change to the competition rules of the event, nor will it affect the selection of high-level athletes for the Olympic Games and international competitions.”

Contrary to what Zhou had said earlier, Li now attests, “It is just a temporary measure to force athletes to pay attention to strengthening basic physical training. Of course, this measure needs to be more scientific.”

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3 years ago

I’m curious which swimmers performed best at the dry-Lane tests? Who was the overall most-beast athlete?

Reply to  CraigH
3 years ago

The complete physical test results are not available to the public, but journalists leaked the scores of some famous swimmers.
The maximum score of the test is 50.

Ye Shiwen 33
Wang Shun 49
Xu Jiayu 47
Yan Zibei 48
Zhang Yufei 45
Yang Junxuan 40
Liu Xiang 43
Qin Haiyang 42
Wang Jianjiahe 29
Fu Yuanhui 26

And there are quite a few unknown swimmers getting full marks.

3 years ago

Were they asking the Olympic weightlifters and heavy weight wrestlers to run or swim, too?

Mrs. Swimming
3 years ago

I never believed they would go through with holding one of their best swimmers off the national team because they can’t run, unsurprising. Qualifying for finals via dryland tests sounds like a fun/interesting concept for like a low-stakes college meet or mid-season age group meet, wild to see this at a national competition.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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