Jiayu Downs National Record in 50 Back on Day 7 of Chinese Nationals


On day 7 of the 2017 Chinese National Championships, backstroker Xu Jiayu took down his 3rd national record of the week. In the semifinals of the 50 back, Jiayu popped off a 24.42 to set the mark. That makes him the fastest 50 backstroker in the world this year as he surpasses Russia’s Evgeny Rylov (24.52). Jiayu will have a chance to lower the record even further in tomorrow’s final.

Li Zhuhao successfully completed his sweep of the butterfly races. He was the only man to break the 52-second barrier, winning gold in 51.63 by almost a second ahead of Zhang Qibing (52.57). That’s a few tenths shy of his season best, as Zhuhao is currently ranked 2nd in the world with a 51.34 from the Arena Pro Swim at Indianapolis back in February.

Distance free standout Li Bingjie rocketed to #2 in the world with her peromance in the 800 free. Bingjie raced to the wall in 8:20.89, while Zhang Yuhan (8:24.18) and Bi Wenxin (8:24.77) battled closely for the silver behinnd her. With that time, the only person to have swum faster than Bingjie this year is the USA’s Katie Ledecky (8:15.44).



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Captain Awesome
3 years ago

Day 7? And since there were semis there will be at least 8 days. How come the Chinese nationals are so much longer than all the other trials meets so far? Is it because they have semis and the others didn’t or have they included less events (which doesn’t seem to be the case since quite a few events were swum today as per above)?

Reply to  Captain Awesome
3 years ago

Chinese spring nationals typically follow the format of that year’s most important international meet. In the Olympic year, that is the Olympic games. In the even non-Olympic year, that is the Asian games. In the odd year, that is the World Championship. Fall nationals are typically much shorter.

3 years ago

Unless Murphy gets back to his absolute best, imo, Jiayu is the favorite to win 100 back. Even if Murphy revisit his Rio’s level in Budapest, it may not be enough to beat Jiayu.
Jiayu is a big event performer, his yearly fastest times have always been recorded at each year’s major meet, be they Asian Games, World Championships and the Olympics.

There’s strong reason he can go even faster in Budapest.

Reply to  NYJOHN
3 years ago

The good news is that he’s putting up these times early enough for Murphy to do something about it. So *if* Murphy has been getting complacent (which I doubt), you can bet he’ll be back at it with a vengeance on Monday.

3 years ago

Ai Yanhan is only 14. Li Bingjie is only 15. China has some crazy fast juniors.

Reply to  Aquajosh
3 years ago

Ai Yanhan also has beautiful technique.

The question is, will these two young freestyler phenoms break the Chinese pattern, and continue to swim faster or at least as fast when they grow older 2-5 years from now?

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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