Olympic champion-turned doping offender, Sun Yang from China, has confirmed his event schedule for the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan. The Chinese freestyle specialist says he will be competing in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle events.
Sun is the current World Record holder in the men’s 1500 meter freestyle and won four medals (including two golds) at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. But his legacy has been recently overshadowed by a 2014 doping situation, of which many critics consider having been dealt with in a shady and secretive manner. Sun tested positive for a specified stimulant at the Chinese National Championships and was quietly given a three-month suspension that was expired in time for him to compete and win gold in the 400 and 1500 meter individual freestyles, and the 400 free relay at the Asian Games in late September 2014.
Looking ahead to Kazan, Sun says of his quad-event program, “I don’t expect to win all four titles, but I do have something in my mind and you will know it at the competition.”
Sun is currently ranked in the world’s top 10 in all four races, and within the top 5 in three of them. Sun’s 200m freestyle time of 1:45.75 is 2nd only to Germany’s Paul Biedermann, while on Australia’s Mack Horton has topped his 7:47.58 800m freestyle for 2015. Sun is SwimSwam.com’s pick for gold in the 400m freestyle event in Kazan.
Sun does have attrition on his side in the 200m event, as top Frenchman Yannick Agnel has had to pull out due to illness and Asian rival Park Tae-Hwan is currently serving his own doping ban. However, Sun reiterates that there will still “be some top swimmers taking part in Worlds, like Australia’s Mack Horton. What I should do is stay focused on my own training.”