Sun Yang Olympic 1500 Splits & World Record Progression

China’s Sun Yang, only 20 years old, crushed the 1500 meter freestyle world record, 14:34.14,  his mark from the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai. Yang shaved 3.12 seconds off that time, finishing the Olympic final in 14:31.02. That was Yang’s fourth medal of the Olympics and his second gold.

Sun Yang‘s 2011 World Championship swim erased Grant Hackett’s 10-year old world record. Yang was off-pace in Shanghai until he unleashed a blistening last 50, a signature move by the man many are calling the greatest miler in history.

Here’s the 1500 freestyle World Record progression.

Sun Yang‘s 1500 freestyle performance from the 2011 World Championships:

Yang’s Olympic 1500 freestyle splits: 

Time Rank Split
50 m 27.09 2 27.09
100 m 55.80 1 28.71
150 m 1:25.26 1 29.46
200 m 1:54.31 1 29.05
250 m 2:23.66 1 29.35
300 m 2:52.63 1 28.97
350 m 3:22.16 1 29.53
400 m 3:51.50 1 29.34
450 m 4:20.73 1 29.23
500 m 4:49.62 1 28.89
550 m 5:18.88 1 29.26
600 m 5:48.15 1 29.27
650 m 6:17.40 1 29.25
700 m 6:46.74 1 29.34
750 m 7:16.15 1 29.41
800 m 7:45.45 1 29.30
850 m 8:14.94 1 29.49
900 m 8:44.32 1 29.38
950 m 9:13.78 1 29.46
1000 m 9:43.10 1 29.32
1050 m 10:12.52 1 29.42
1100 m 10:41.73 1 29.21
1150 m 11:11.27 1 29.54
1200 m 11:40.64 1 29.37
1250 m 12:09.81 1 29.17
1300 m 12:39.00 1 29.19
1350 m 13:08.39 1 29.39
1400 m 13:37.53 1 29.14
1450 m 14:05.34 1 27.81
Finish 14:31.02 WR 1 25.68


Yang was over eight and half seconds faster than the sliver medalist, Canada’s Ryan Cochrane. Cochrane, a bronze medalist in this event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, netted silver this time in 14:39.63.

Ous Mellouli trailed Cochrane most of the race, closing at the end, but it wasn’t enough. Mellouli, the defending champion in this event from the Beijing Olympics, won the bronze in 14:40.31. Mellouli, from Tunisia, trained a USC and has been plagued by shoulder problems since 2010.

Connor Jaeger, Team USA, touched the wall in sixth place with a 14:52.99.


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9 years ago

Sun Yang’s unorthodox breathing pattern seems to be the consequence of his unusually high distance per stroke.

Reply to  Michael
9 years ago

Yup, he grabs and moves so much water, he needs more oxygen than the guys witha higher turnover and shorter stroke length

9 years ago

The chinese are so advanced that theyve learned how to warm up during the first 3/4 of thier races while still being on or near wr pace. Then they just start sprinting and blow everyone/ wrs away.

Reply to  Lv2srf95
9 years ago

Well not all of them. Just 2 . There are plenty of failures also .I fact most were underwhelming.

9 years ago

The Chinese are advanced at one thing…doping. I want to see a comparison of the Chinese medal count/time progression at major international meets in the previous 2-3 years vs London. We’ve seen this before in 94,98,99…I think that the majority of Chinese swims were tainted at this meet. Shiwen’s times and splits are ridiculous, and people have the right to be suspect based on a number of variables.

I’m suspicious of Sun as well. Don’t care where he trains, 25.6 on the end doesn’t seem possible. Nice roid rage before and after the race.

Reply to  Bullddoze
8 years ago

The Americans are the most advanced in doping. If Ye’s times and splits ridiculous were ridiculous, what would you call Ledecky’s times and splits? Impossible?

Eric Lahmy
9 years ago

You have seen such finishes in the past. You have to be a lot stronger than the others to do that. In 1968, Mark Spitz broke a 400m freestyle world record, 4’7”7, with a 59”3 last 100 meters. If you adapt with the actuel speed of the 400m, 3’40” and something, that means a last for the finis100 in 52”7! The funny thing is that Yang Sun was beaten in the 200m with a slower finishing time. That can be explained by the fact that his anaerobic capacity can be used for 100m, not 200m, and that the 200m race began too fast for him; he had to use a lot of anaerobic capacity at the beginning and could not… Read more »

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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