Ning Zetao Subject Of ‘Turning Point’ Documentary

Chinese swimmer Ning Zetao has made headlines both in and out the pool over his short career, spanning one end of the positive news spectrum to the other. In 2011, then just 18 years of age, the sprint freestyler served a doping suspension for having tested positive for clenbuterol. The athlete redeemed himself in Kazan, as he clinched the World Championship title in the men’s 100m freestyle last year, becoming the first Chinese man ever to win an event at the biennial competition.

Considered a heart throb in his home nation, the now-23-year-old Zhengzhou, Henan is a subject of a recently released Chinese documentary entitled ‘Turning Point’, aired by CCTV5 this week.  The approximately 45-minute film includes footage from when a crew followed Zetao’s training and daily life in Australia prior to the Olympic Games.

‘Under the blue waves, he is fast as a swift dragon, shattered water waves and became a world champion,’ is the verbiage accompanying the documentary, whose description says it reveals the swimmer’s ‘loneliness and solitariness rarely known to the outside world.’

The film also reportedly reveals how the Chinese Swimming Federation treated Zetao during his final weeks prior to Rio. Social media reports alleged that Zetao was to be cut from the Chinese Olympic roster due to undertaking too many commercial engagements. But at the time Zetao denied these reports, saying his goal was to ‘strive for glory’ at the Olympics.

Glory wasn’t to be had in Rio, however, as Zetao found himself 30th after prelims in the men’s 50m freestyle (22.38) and 12th after semi-finals in the 100m freestyle (48.32).

The film premiered in Beijing on November 8th and is available within this post courtesy of CCTV5.

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6 years ago

It is a shame for a great athletic like Ning Zetao whose dream was ruined by the corrupted head of Chinese National Swimming Center.

6 years ago

Ning already said he will continue to swim. He also wrote in his weibo “Life is too short and there is no time for regret. As it is not the end, he will smile and keep moving forward. I don’t say goodbye, I say see u soon” ????

6 years ago

Actually it’s the fault of Wang lusheng who is the leader of Chinese swimming center. He forced Ning to break the commerical contract which had been already signed , and Ning refused to break it. So Wang started to ruin him with a series of cruel means . Ning didn’t achieve any medal in Rio, but he had tried his best in that circumstance. The chinese people is no long hold only-medal theory.We love someone who is strong,energetic and tenacious.He is definitely the role model of our generation. Hope that he will still pursuit his dream. Good luck to him.

6 years ago

Unbelievable! he is a very nice person, why do bad things happen to good people?

Iris Yan
6 years ago

What Ning has been through before the Rio Game is definetly one of the worst nightmares any athlete can imagine in their career. Tremendous muscle loss under severe pressure, both mentally and physically, is the major reason of his underperformance in Rio as it is revealed in the documentary.
He is a victim of corruption and he has done his best in the game instead of “making a fool of himself” written by this author. No matter who wrote this, I genuinely hope that you do understand every single Chinese word in this documentary and you are responsible for every single words you wrote as a reporter.

6 years ago

Hello, is anyone there?

Reply to  huhu
6 years ago

I watched the entire documentary. Ning’s performance in Rio was already encouraging and inspirational despite the fact that he didn’t get any medal. I would also like to point out that in the documentary, he never said “made a fool of himself”. Please be aware of this error as the article should bring accuracy to all the readers.

6 years ago

What shocked everyone and raised public controversy from the documentary was the 5 weeks prior to Ning’s first olympic journey, during which Ning was not only interrupted from his training in Australia, his coach was also driven away from him after Ning was forced back from Australia, aside from his experience of an attempt to kick him out of the dorm he lived in at the Swimming Center of China. The card that he used to eat at the training center was locked for unknown reasons.
What the documentary didn’t mention was that, by then, RUMORS suddenly started circulating on the internet stating that Ning put himself into commercial contracts which was against the rules of Swimming Center, a… Read more »

6 years ago

Ning never ever says he ‘made a fool of himself.’ He said he was pround of himself to be in Rio to strive for glory of his country in the documentary.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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