With the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships beginning July 14th in Budapest, Hungary, nations around the world are preparing for their national championships, most of which double as qualifying meets. China’s National Swimming Championships fall into that category, taking place April 10th-17th in Qingdao, Shandong province with two of the nation’s most recognizable swimmers expected to be in attendance.
2016 Olympic champion in the men’s 200m freestyle, Sun Yang, is slated to take on his domestic rivals in April, a change from last year where the star was absent. Dealing with a foot injury and not wanting to take any chances pre-Rio, Sun Yang opted out of the 2016 version of the meet, having already notched Olympic qualifying times at the 2015 World Championships.
21-year-old Ye Shiwen is also said to be competing at the Chinese Nationals, hoping to improve up on her 2016 performance. Although she ultimately won the women’s 200m IM, Ye fell flat during the 400 IM and wound up in 7th place among her peers last year at this competition.
Ning Zetao, the reigning 100m freestyle World Champion, was reportedly cut from the Chinese National team earlier this year. There are no reports confirming whether or not he will be in Qingdao next month to compete in the hopes of a chance to defend his title.
Of note, this year’s edition of the Chinese National Championships will capture a full 42 event schedule, up from 32 from the 2016 edition.