Reigning 100m freestyle World Champion Ning Zetao of China has assured fans that he is ready to go after gold at the 2016 Olympic Games. In response to social media reports alleging Zetao was to be cut from the Chinese Olympic roster due to undertaking too many commercial engagements, Zetao has denied these reports, saying he is ‘striving for glory.’
Nicknamed “Baozi” or “steamed bun”, Zetao states via social media that “the Olympics is without a doubt the biggest dream of a lifetime for all athletes and is my greatest motivation in training hard and swimming forward each day.” (Reuters)
He continued, “As for some rumors, the ‘Steamed Bun’ does not want to respond because it would only create more noise amid preparations for the Olympics. Now is a critical time in preparations for us athletes. People all around the country are paying attention, it’s once in four years, and there can be no mistakes!”
Zetao will be facing Australian rival Cameron McEvoy and American speedster Nathan Adrian in his 100m freestyle specialty come Rio. Zetao edged out McEvoy in Kazan last year, winning the world title in a time of 47.84. Most recently at China’s Olympic Trials in April, Zetao put up a semi-final time of 47.96 and ultimately scratched the final with his roster spot assured.
Below is one of Zetao’s recent Facebook posts on the subject of competing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.