A group of China’s national swimming team, including Olympic champion Sun Yang, is currently training in Kunmig, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province. Xu Jiayu and Ye Shiwen are also among the athletes logging meters at altitude, 1500m above sea level, for more than 3 weeks in preparation for this year’s World Championships.
“2019 is vital for the preparation of Tokyo Olympics and we should also seize the opportunity in South Korea, as top swimmers will be there for world championship this year,” Zhu added.
Both Sun and Xu were honorable mentions for our SwimSwam Swammy Award for Male Asian Swimmer of the Year. During 2018 the 23-year-old proved himself as a formidable foe to the backstroking world, establishing a new World Record in the men’s SCM 100 sprint. While competing at the World Cup in Tokyo, Xu threw down a time of 48.88 to register as a new Chinese National Record, Asian Continental Record and World Record.
For Sun’s part, the multiple Olympic gold medalist crushed a sweep of the men’s mid-distance freestyle events at this year’s Asian Games. The freestyle ace took the men’s 200 (1:45.43), 400 (3:42.92), 800 (7:48.36) as well as the 1500 in 14:58.53. He didn’t participate in the Pan Pacific Championships, but made a very impactful cameo appearance at the Short Course World Championships.
Sun joined the threesome of Ji Xinjie, Xu and Wang Shun, combining to claim the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay bronze medal in an overall time of 6:47.53. The outing finished behind winning team Brazil, who notched a World Record for gold, and Russia who earned silver. All of the top 3 teams dipped under the previous WR mark set by Russia 8 years ago.
Sun produced a game changing split of 1:41.25 to keep China on the podium.
2012 Olympic champion Ye fell just .25 shy of earning a medal in Hangzhou, clocking 2:05.79 to finish 4th in the women’s 200m IM final. She also earned 6th place in the women’s 200m breaststroke (2:19.52).