The 2016 Chinese spring National Championships and Olympic Trials begin Sunday in Foshan, but will be without the country’s biggest sports star: distance swimmer Sun Yang.
Chinese media is saying that this won’t affect Sun’s chances at Olympic qualifying, because he already earned Olympic qualifying times in the 200, 400, and 1500 meter freestyles at last summer’s World Championships.
Sun’s competition schedule has been inconsistent since his notorious ending to the World Championships in Kazan. On the final day of that meet, Sun both is alleged to have gotten in a physical altercation with a female Brazilian swimmer in the warm-up pool, and then he skipped the final of the 1500 free where he was a favorite to win for unrelated issues (the federation claimed it had to with a lingering heart condition).
In January of this year, Sun pulled out of the Aquatic Super Series in Australia, where he trains, citing a foot injury,
In a press release sent out by the Zhejiang Vocational College of Sports, they said that in order to avoid reinjuring his healing damaged appendages, Sun decided to continue his preparations for the Rio Olympics in Hangzhou instead.
Sun injured his foot in a training accident on January 29th while in Australia, and specifically injured his 5th metatarsal.
Sun’s resume includes 2012 Olympic gold medals in the 400 and 1500 freestyles, as 7 long course World Championships and the current World Record in the men’s 1500 long course meter freestyle