Day 3 of the 2013 National Games of the People’s Republic of China saw yet another record go down in what has been a very fast meet thus far in Liaoning.
Men’s 200 free FINAL
Sun Yang started the session off with the swim-of-the-meet so far. In an event where he felt he was not in good enough shape to compete at the World Championships, Sun leapt to 2nd in the world and broke Tae Hwan Park’s old Asian Record of 1:44.80 (from the Olympics) by a significant margin with a 1:44.47 on Friday.
That marks a 5th gold in three days already for Zhejiang, three of which have come on a final touch from Sun. They would earn two more on the day, to sit with 7, still shy of the halfway mark.
Hao Yun closed his race extremely well to overtake nearly a full-second deficit against the very young Li Yunqi and turn it into a full second margin in the last 50 meters. Hao took the silver in 1:46.85, with Li placing 3rd in 1:48.30. Xu Qi Heng took 4th in 1:48.36, and Zhang Jie took 5th in 1:48.93.
Note that this puts the aggregate of the top four at around a 7:07.98, which without relay starts is about three seconds slower than they went at the World Championships with Hao, Li, Sun, and Wang Shun. In other words, though the swims, combined with Sun’s record, were a good performance here, these men overall were probably a hair better at Worlds (Sun anchored that relay in 1:43.1).
Women’s 100 back FINAL
Fu Yuanhui wasn’t able to match the 59.3 that she went in the semifinals, but her 59.64 was still good enough for gold.
Zhao Jing, world champion in the 50, dipped under a minute for the first time this season with a 59.92 for silver. Liao Yali took 3rd in 1:00.10.
Men’s 100 back FINAL
In the final for the men’s 100 backstroke, meanwhile, Xu Jiayu won in 53.43, knocking another four-tenths off of his semi-final swim and holding off National Record holder Cheng Feiyi, who was 53.91 for silver.
Xu’s swim was another gold medal for Zhejiang, and Cheng’s swim tallied another mark on the column of the home region Liaoning.
Sun Xiaolei from Shanghai took the bronze in 54.11.
Women’s 100 breast FINAL
Zhao Jin took the victory in the women’s 100 breaststroke in 1:07.28. She didn’t even swim at the World Championships where China couldn’t get a swimmer out of prelims in this event, nor did silver medalist Liu Xiaoyu of Liaoning, who took silver here in 1:07.66.
The bronze medalist from Friday’s final, Sun Ye, did swim at Worlds, but her 1:07.80 was seven-tenths of a second than she was at Worlds where she had an early exit.
- Jiangsu’s Shen Duo took the top seed in the women’s 200 free semi-finals, posting a 1:57.05 at just 16 years old. The 2nd seed belonged to Zhu Wianwei from Shanghai,, who was 2nd in 1:57.71, and Zhang Yuhan the 3rd seed in 1:57.84. Three of the top four swimmers in the finals are teenagers, as are 5 of the top 8 finalists overall (including Qiu Yuhan, just 15, who was 1:58.50 for 8th).
- Hao Yun, in his 2nd swim of the day, took the top seed in the men’s 200 fly semi-final with a 1:56.97, followed by Wu Peng, another Zhejiang swimmer, in 1:57.27. Those two were the big favorites coming in, but veteran Shi Feng is currently 3rd in 1:57.71.
- Closing the session, Ye Shiwen took the top seed in the women’s 200 IM in 2:12.73, followed by a pair from Shanghai: Zhou Min in 2:13.91 and Zhang Sishi in 2:14.66. Ye stepped up for a good finals swim in the 400 IM final, so expect her to dip way down under 2:10 on Saturday.
Zhejiang may not have a dominant lead of the overall medal count (though they do lead that category), but their 7 gold medals in 12 events so far shows that their top end is far better than anyone else at this meet.