Li Zhuhao Finishes Off Butterfly Sweep at Chinese Championships


  • Friday, April 13 – Wednesday, April 18, 2018
  • Shanxi Sports Center Swimming Pool, Shanxi, China
  • Full results

Sun Yang came up short of a 4th victory in his 4th individual swim on Wednesday at the 2018 Chinese Championships in Shanxi. While he’s all-but-given-up on the 1500 free internationally to focus on the 200 and 400 (where he won double gold at Worlds last year).

While the focus has been on shorter races, that didn’t necessarily show up on Wednesday in the shortest event on his schedule, the 100 free, where he tied for 3rd in 49.48 – about a tenth back of the winner Hou Yujie (49.37). Sun didn’t swim this relay at Worlds last year, and without him they finished just 13th and out of the final. Expect him to be pulled into duty on this and the 800 free relay (which also missed the final) at the Asian Games this year, where China has a better chance at gold.

Sun is scripted to swim the 1500 on Thursday, the last day of this meet – while he doesn’t seem to have the endurance any more to compete for gold internationally, he’s still probably the favorite in Asia and might swim it for all of the generous rewards that come to Chinese swimmers for Asian Games titles.

In other swims, Li Zhuhao finished off his butterfly triple by winning the 50 in 23.55. He previously won the 200 fly (1:55.66) and 100 fly (51.77).

Top 3 Finishers, Per Event

Men’s 50m butterfly:

  1. Li Zhuhao, Zhejiang, 23.55
  2. Zhao Xianjian, Guangxi, 23.93
  3. Wang Peng, Chinese Navy, 23.94

Women’s 50m breaststroke:

  1. (TIE) Suo Ran, Chinese Navy/Feng Junyang, Guangxi, 31.50
  2. Yu Jingyao, Beijing, 31.54

Men’s 100m freestyle:

  1. Hou Yujie, Henan, 49.37
  2. Yu Hexin, Guangdong, 49.39
  3. (TIE) Yang Jintong, Tianjin/Sun Yang, Zhejiang, 49.48

Women’s 800m freestyle:

  1. Wang Jianjiahe, Liaoning, 8:22.65
  2. Li Bingjie, Hebei, 8:28.72
  3. Hou Yawen, Liaoning, 8:33.95

Men’s 200m backstroke:

  1. 1. Xu Jiayu, Zhejiang, 1:55.43
  2. 2. Li Guangyuan, Zhejiang, 1:56.48
  3. 3. Wang Yutian, Hubei, 1:59.12

Women’s 4X100m medley relay:

  1. Henan, 4:04.42
  2. Beijing, 4:04.96
  3. Chinese Navy, 4:06.74

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So much expected fight between two young Chinese talents for the right to be called a “Ledecky Challenger” or “Sun Yang in women swimming” or whatever prestigious names they want to be called this fight hasn’t produced much so far. Wang Jianjiahe looks better than Li Bingjie in face to face races but no records of Bingjie were touched yet. Tomorrow we have 400 free competition, but I think that time of Ariarne Titmus will stay #1 this season. Looks like both girls are deeply in training process and haven’t put much into this national championships.


Nobody deserves that “title”


Both Chinese girls missed their chances already to be like Katie in 800: 8:14 at the age of 15y 4m. Still have a few months ahead to match under 4min at age 16y 4m
But they will never have after that 10 sec (800) and 3.5sec (400) improvement breaking along 8 world records. And 1500 is simply out of discussion. Only seeing how generation by generation of talented swimmers are struggling to get under 15:50 one understands what 15:25 means.


15:25 is indeed crazy… and the thing is, I bet if she was able to swim it in her Rio form it could be even lower as she had significant improvement in her other events.


The city where this meet is being held is at about 820m altitude. A little less than 100 more meters in elevation and they’d be eligible for altitude adjustment. USA Swimming gives 5 seconds on that 800 and 11 seconds on the 1500 at 3000 feet (914 meters). I’m sure they’re feeling it, especially in the longer races. That adjustment would have pushed Bingjie past Evans, and Jianjiahe past Evans AND Ziegler in the 1500.


Interesting. So how does it work: both times are published? Measured and adjusted. How does FINA look at this? Does it accept the adjusted records?
On the other hand you for sure know that the density of the air (and amount of oxygen) decreases with the height exponentially not linearly. Therefore the 100m difference is a substantial one. So, let’s leave Ziegler time alone. They haven’t swum that fast.


What happened to Ning Zetao lol


He was banned for the second time and is now retired.


He is training under Matt Brown in Australia and will compete in the summer nationals in June, which is the 2nd trial for Asian Games.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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