2017 Chinese National Championships
- Monday, April 10 – Wednesday, April 19, 2017
- Qingdao, China
Li Bingjie went 4:02.52 in the 400 free to lead the world ranks by a good three and a half seconds, while Sun Yang also hit a world-leading time on day 1 of Chinese Nationals.
Li blew out the field with a massive early-season swim. Her 4:02.52 won by more than three seconds and displaces Hungary’s Boglarka Kapas as the top time in the world for the 2016-2017 season. The latest young Chinese swimmer to blow up in domestic competition, Li could now find herself in the hunt for a World Championships medal if she can stay at this level or improve by August. Li competed at Junior Pan Pacs last summer and won the 400 free there. But her time this week is exactly five seconds faster than her winning time from last August (4:07.52).
Sun, meanwhile, also jumped into the world lead in the 400 with his winning time. The 2012 Olympic champ and 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the event went 3:42.16, blowing out the field by six seconds and taking the top world ranks spot from Italy’s Gabriele Detti. Sun’s time is just a half-second off what he went in taking silver last summer in Rio.
The other massive swim came in the men’s 100 breast semifinal, where Yan Ziben broke a national record with a 58.92. That displaces the national record of 59.55 set by Li Xiang last summer in Rio. And on a continental scale, the 21-year-old Yan’s time is just .02 off of a pretty hallowed Asian record: 58.90 set by the legendary Kosuke Kitajima of Japan back in 2012. Yan now sits #2 worldwide and only a tenth behind world record-holder Adam Peaty of Great Britain. Yan will have a chance to lower that record in tomorrow’s final, where he’s up against Li (1:00.19 in semis) and former junior world record-holder Wang Lizhuo (1:00.04 in semis).
Other notable semifinals:
- Lu Ying qualified first out of semifinals of the women’s 100 fly at 58.16, but the field is very tight behind her with Zhang Yufei going 58.28 and Zhou Yilin 58.56.
- Li Zhuhao is the top qualifier out of semis in the men’s 50 fly at 23.53.
- Wang Xinya leads the women’s 200 IM in 2:13.05, with junior world record-holder Zhou Min second in 2:13.47.