2019 CHINESE NATIONALS
- March 24th – March 31st
- Swimming and Diving Hall of Qingdao Sports Center
- SwimSwam Meet Preview
- Day 1 Recap
- Day 2 Recap
*Note: Results are only available through Chinese app
China’s biggest swimming star that is Sun Yang made his 2nd appearance at these Chinese Nationals, reaping his 2nd gold of the meet. After winning the men’s 400m free on night 1, Sun was back in the 200m free, clocking a winning effort of 1:45.73.
Sun’s personal best in the event rests at the 1:44.39 he produced for gold at the 2017 World Championships, a time that even beat what it took the Chinese swimmer to win gold in Rio. There at the 2016 Olympics, Sun clocked 1:44.65 to top a stacked field, so his mark tonight was just one second away from his range of PB’s.
The Olympic champion won the 2018 Asian Games gold easily in 1:45.43. His mark this evening now ranks the 27-year-old iconic Chinese athlete as #2 in the world this season.
Behind Sun was Ji Xinjie who produced a very respectable 1:46.27, a mark that beat what Ji threw down for bronze at the Asian Games last year. In Jakarta, Ji punched a 3rd place result of 1:46.68, so he was able to slice almost half a second off of that time to keep pace with Sun, to a degree, and land on the podium tonight in the 4th fastest mark in world.
Also on the podium was Wang Shun, the IM maestro who logged a bronze medal-worthy effort of 1:47.35 tonight, just .24 off his personal best from way back in 2011. Of note, 16-year-old Hong Jinquan is one to watch, clocking 1:48.30 in the final.
Newly-minted Chinese National and Asian Continental Record holder Wang Jianjiahe cranked out another impressive performance in the women’s 1500m tonight. The teenager clocked a massive 15:49.55 to take the gold easily, winning by over 23 seconds. Runner-up was Zhang Ke in 16:13.39, while Hou Yawen rounded out the top 3 just tenths later in 16:13.60.
For 16-year-old Jianjiahe, she already nailed her new record at the Pro Swim Series in Des Moines, Iowa earlier this month. There, she produced a mind-numbing 15:46.69. The fact she was within 3 seconds of that result less than a month later means she’s most definitely found her rhythm in this event and the record was anything but a fluke.
Of note, domestic rival Li Bingjie withdrew from the 1500m event.
Yu Jingyao took the women’s breaststroke in 1:07.17 to win by almost a second ahead of He Yun‘s mark of 1:08.13. Zhang Xinyu wasn’t too far behind, registering a time of 1:08.64 for bronze.
For Yu, she was 1:07.44 for 4th at last year’s Asian Games, so she managed to muster a fastest performance here to hack .27 off of that result.
Yu’s outing tonight was good enough to insert the Chinese athlete into the top performers in the world this season at #5.
National Record holder Xu Jiayu got it done big-time in the men’s 100m backstroke tonight, registering a killer mark of 52.27. That represented the only sub-53 second time of the field, as well as the world this season, rocketing the 23-year-old World Champion to the #1 spot in the rankings by a large margin.
Splitting a masterful race at 25.33/26.94, Xu’s 52.27 ties for the 19th fastest performance in history and even surpasses the 52.34 it took for Xu to beat mainstay Ryosuke Irie of Japan at last year’s Asian Games.
Olympian Fu Yuanhui was also on top tonight, winning the women’s edition of the 100m back in a solid 59.84. At the 2018 Asian Games, Fu wasn’t able to dip under the minute threshold, settling for 4th in 1:00.35. So tonight’s performance is a confidence-booster for the 23-year-old Olympic medalist.
To close out the finals, Yan Zibei cranked out a new National Record in the men’s 50m breaststroke in a time of 26.96.
Entering this meet, Yan’s personal best was represented by the 27.25 he notched in prelims at the 2017 World Championships. There in Budapest, the 23-year-old wound up not making the final. He was able to redeem himself with a silver medal performance in Jakarta at last year’s Asian Games, but he took things to a new level tonight with his first sub-27 second result ever.
In doing so, Yan ties America’s Ian Finnerty to become the 17th fastest performer ever in the event, as he also edges out Brazil’s Felipe Lima to sit atop the season’s world rankings throne.
- Sun Yang took the top time of the morning in the men’s 800m free, logging 8:02.35 over Ji Xinjie‘s 8:06.14
- Qiu Yuhan wowed the crowd with a mighty 1:56.79 in the women’s 200m freestyle. That’s Qiu’s fastest time since 2014 when she took silver at that year’s Youth Olympic Games. Her semi-final time slides her into slot #3 in the world rankings this season. Both Li Bingjie (1:57.58) and Wang Jianjiahe (1:57.99) are lurking in the race, however.
- Zheng Xiaojing was the fastest 200m flyer in the men’s semi, securing lane 4 in 1:58.36.