Sun Yang Swims 3rd-Ranked 400 Free to Open Chinese Nationals

The 2015 Chinese Spring National Championships, which are a selection meet for Worlds (though not necessarily a binding one), began on Thursday in the metropolis of Baoji iin central China, a city of nearly 4 million residents. The long course meet is following the World Championships event schedule.

Sun Yang, still mired in lingering controversy from his doping suspension from a year ago, began the meet by taking the first event title up for grabs in the men’s 400 free, swimming 3:44.53. That ranks him 3rd in the world so far in 2015, and is half-a-second faster than he was to win the event at this same meet last year.

2014-2015 LCM Men 400 Free

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While Sun is looking for a rebound year, the once-juggernaut Chinese men’s distance swimming continues to deteriorate, and Sun was the only swimmer faster than 3:50 in the race.

In the same race for the women, Cao Yue swam 4:05.86 to win. That’s a new personal best for her. In late 2013, Yue stepped down from open water to the 200, 400, and 800 in the pool, where she excelled immediately at the country’s fall National Championship meet, but in 2014 she took a step back and earned only a single 800 free relay entry at the 2014 Asian Games. This swim makes her now by far the domestic front-runner in a discipline where, despite taking gold and silver at the Asian Games last year, China didn’t prove to be a threat to many nations outside of the continent.

Shao Yiwen took 2nd in 4:07.01, and Guo Junjun was 3rd in 4:07.34. Those two were also faster than the two Asian Games medalists from last season.

Full day 1 finals results below.

Day 1 top 3 finishers

Men 400 Free

Sun Yang 3’44″53
Li Yunqi 3’50″73
Yang Jintong 3’50″74

Women 400 Free

Cao Yue 4’05″86
Shao Yiwen 4’07″01
Guo Junjun 4’07″34

Men 4×100 FR

Guangdong 3’19″47
Beijing 3’20″51
Shanghai 3’21″04

Women 4×100 FR

Zhejiang 3’39″75
Beijing 3’40″76
Shanghai 3’42″61

In This Story


  1. aswimfan says:

    Kazan….. let the doping championships begin!

    In Kazan, there will be more swimmers who have tested to banned substances than in any previous worlds/olympics.

  2. Kylecw says:

    If everyone gets the right mix of supplements we could see a male freestyle world record this summer

  3. ozsu says:

    Impressive time after what he has been going through…

  4. Dee says:

    Good for him…

    Makes me sick to the stomach – Anybody but Sun Yang or Park Taehwan, please!

  5. Kylecw says:

    I also think a men’s freestyle world record is unlikely, but if one is set not unlikely that it will be by a suspicious individual.

    If I had to pick the most likely free record to go down this summer for men I would say Horton 400 free. I don’t think anyone is suspicious of his talent.

  6. Pvdh says:

    Knock this doper off Mack!!

  7. Justice Kang says:

    Don’t be myopic! TMZ was’t prohibited as banned heart stimulant or updated in CHINADA website until the blunder was discovered and then revised after June 2014. Of course this is a huge embarrassment to the Chinese swimming authorities and Sun Yang is being victimized as doper and cheater by ignorant and underachievers. The medication he took was prescribed unknowingly (TUE is ok) during April local national meet of which he could have win easily with one hand holding his ‘crotch’ (his winning time was 14min 48sec and far from PB of 14 min 31sec and chased by a bridemaid 10 sec away). So please be reasonable when you pass any unwarranted hurtful remarks when the guy is a victim of conspiracy for being not toeing the Chinese authorities!

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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