Day 2 of the East Asian Games in Tianjin, China continued with Chinese and Japanese dominance, just like we saw on day 1, but unlike on Thursday, this session had a little explosiveness to break up the monotony of “solid post-taper results.”
That came from Fu Yuanhui, the world-leader in the 50 backstroke and Worlds silver medalist, in her best event. She took the first women’s final of the night in the 50 backstroke, winning in 27.77. Only 5 women, not including herself, have been faster than that time this year. She could be the next big thing in Chinese backstroking, especially if the 17-year old can start pushing herself out even more into that 100 meter race.
The runner-up was Hong Kong’s Stephanie Au (28.59), who is currently a senior on the Cal women’s NCAA team where she trains with the world’s best backstroke group. Emi Mornuki took 3rd in 28.87.
This day was one loaded with sprint finals. Among the other winners in 50 meter races were:
- China’s Lu Ying in the women’s 50 fly with a 26.19, just out-touching Japan’s Yuka Kato in 26.22. The other Chinese entry, Jiao Liu Yang, took 3rd in 26.85.
- Japan’s Kohei Kawamoto won the men’s 50 fly in 24.07, using a strong start to dominate runner-up Ryo Takayasu (24.41), also of Japan, and Chinese bronze medalist Feng Shi (24.44).
In other events on the second day:
- In a lightly-competed 400 free, that saw only four starters, China’s Shao Yiwen cruised to an easy 4:10.83 victory ahead of Japan’s Asam Chida (4:12.82). Shen Junjie, also from China, took 3rd in 4:17.81. Shao is looking to have a bounce-back season in 2014 after failing to final at Worlds in either the 400 or the 800 freestyle, so the good result here is no surprise.
- Japan’s Naito Ehara won the men’s 200 free in 1:48.85, swimming an evenly-match, but much more front-halved, race than his countrymate Chiaki Ishibashi. This win will go down as a bit of an upset after Ishibashi had such an impressive anchor leg in the 800 free relay on Thursday. Korea’s Nam Kiwoong was 3rd in 1:50.47.
- China’s Xu Jiayu won the men’s 200 back in 1:57.45, followed by countrymate Zhang Fenglin in 1:57.07 and Japan’s Keita Sunama in 1:57.88. Aside from the absence of defending champion Ryosuke Irie, this is one of the few races that overall was much faster this year than in the last edition of the meet in 2009.
- The Chinese picked up their second relay medal in as many tries, with the team of Qiu Yuhan, Guo Junjun, Wang Fei, and Shao Yiwen touching in 8:06.06. That includes a blazing 1:58.0 lead-off from Yuhan: the only sub-two minute split of the entire field. Japan was 2nd in 8:08.91, and Hong Kong took 3rd in 8:16.14.
Full, live meet results can be found here (the middle link in each set of three is results, in English).
A full PDF of the day 2 finals results can be found here.