Sun Yang Lowers Asian Record For First 200 Free World Title


Despite being the lone man in the field who swam the 800 prelims this morning, China’s Sun Yang pulled away in the men’s 200 free final to win gold in a new Asian and Chinese national record of 1:44.39. Sun lowers his previous record of 1:44.47, set at the 2013 Chinese National Games.

Sun is the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the event, but this is his first 200 free World title. After posting the fastest split (1:43.16) in the 4×200 free relay at the 2013 World Championships, a time nearly a full second ahead of the individual gold medal winning time, Sun added the event to his international schedule. He won silver behind Great Britain’s James Guy at the 2015 World Championships.

The 25-year-old now owns nine World Championship titles across four different events. He won the 400 free earlier in the competition on day 1, clearing the field by over two seconds.

Tonight in the final he was out much faster than the semis, but still sat in just 6th place. After moving into the lead with a 26.35 third leg, Sun was solid coming home in 26.94 to win decisively. Up and coming American Townley Haas won his first individual World Championship medal with the silver in 1:45.04, and Russian Aleksandr Krasnykh was the only one other than Sun to close sub-27 (26.97) to take bronze in 1:45.23.

After leading at the 100m mark, defending champion Guy ended up 5th in 1:45.36, just behind fellow Brit Duncan Scott (1:45.27).

Sun leapfrogs Ryan Lochte as the 6th fastest performer in the history of the event.

Top 10 All-Time Performers – Men’s 200 Free

1 Paul Biedermann 1:42.00
2 Michael Phelps 1:42.96
3 Yannick Agnel 1:43.14
4 Danila Izotov 1:43.90
5 Ian Thorpe 1:44.06
6 Sun Yang 1:44.39
7 Ryan Lochte 1:44.44
8 Park Tae Hwan 1:44.80
9 Pieter Van Den Hoogenband 1:44.89
10 Dave Walters 1:44.95

Moving forward, Sun qualified into the 800 free final set for tomorrow night, where he’s the three-time defending champion. He’ll also swim the 1500 individually later in the meet.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

7 Comment threads
21 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
17 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Chris Plack

No words! What a race. To swim the 800 and then come back and win the 200 — SUN best swimmer ever. Amazing! SUN Tokyo 2020!


It is something to drop his PR after a 800 in the morning. I would consider him as the second best in history after phelps. 🙂

Scott Morgan

Convicted and punished dopers and drug cheats like Sun will never be “best ever”, sorry. And then there’s the little factual issue of his medal count–no where near the best there either. Your argument doesn’t hold; your opinion shows you like dopers.


1. Michael Phelps (no debate)
2. Katie Ledecky
3. Ryan Lochte
4. Sung Yang
5. Ian Thorpe
6. Janet Evans
7. Mark Spitz
8. Alexander Popov
9. Missy Franklin
10. Joseph Schooling…. lol jk, it’s Matt Biondi


1. Shark
2. Michael Phelps


I would take out Franklin, Biondi and even Popov to add Kristina, Inge de Brujin and PVDH. Kristina might even top Spitz and Evans, she is probably the best backstroker of history period.and even had an amazing IM.


Also, does anyone know why Krisztine did not swim 100 back on her last OG? Her medley relay time was better than the winner of 100 back individually..


Sorry but Missy in her prime > Hozzu
Perisol had really good feats as well.


If we consided Individual Gold Medals only Phelps is First, Krisztina second, Spitz, de Brujin, Evans, Kochlkova, Popov, Matthes, Darnyi, Kitajima, Otto and Ledecky with 4 Individual.


Well in Olympic Swimmers it is
1. Phelps
2. Thorpe
3. Lochte
4. Spitz




Hmm…now out of the top 10 how many testes positive for PEDs?


Shane Gould is greater than every female swimmer ever


When that title was given to her they made an error and left out one of Egerszegi’s Olympic gold medal and . Otherwise it would have been Egerszegi…


Swimmer? — no Sjostrom or coughlin? To me Sjostrom is better than Ledecky. 51.71 is absurd(Ledecky will never be within a second of that) and I have a feeling she’s going 23.2 in the 50 later in the meet. To me, the hardest race to execute is 100m freestyle. Your body is like jello afterwards and you feel like your lungs are going to explode.

Ed P

more Chinese propaganda detected

Definitely Not Sun Yang

Pretty shocked to see him drop time.


He has gotten stronger and faster while sacrificing his 1500 time. His WR will be safe for a while I think unless Paltrinieri proves otherwise


Sun is a beast, period. I’m not so impressed with these 50/100 breaststrokers/backstrokers winners who lack the versatility of a ledecky/Sun who do a 200/400/800/1500

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!