The Man Who Ended Phelps’ 200 Fly Streak in 2012 Will Race at the Knoxville Pro Swim


  • January 11-14, 2022
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • LCM (50 meters), Prelims/Finals
  • Psych Sheets

When the psych sheets for the first Pro Swim Series meet of the season dropped yesterday, one of our eagle-eyed readers caught an unexpected name at the bottom of the entry lists for the men’s 100 meter fly: 35-year-old Wu Peng.

Wu, a butterflier, represented China at the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic Games, and during his career was one of the primary global antagonists to the most decorated Olympian in history: Michael Phelps.

Wu is perhaps most famous not for what he did on a global stage, but what he did at a pair of Grand Prix meets in the United States in 2011. Michael Phelps entered the Michigan Grand Prix that year with a 200 fly winning streak that spanned 9 years and almost 60 meets.

But Wu stepped onto the blocks and beat Phelps at that meet, and then beat him again at the pair’s next meet, the Charlotte UltraSwim. While that didn’t foreshadow Wu’s own victory at the Olympics later that year, it did foreshadow the chip in the armor that led to Chad le Clos upsetting the GOAT in the London Olympic 200 fly final.

Wu’s last major international meet was the 2013 World Championships, where he won a bronze medal in the 200 fly. Now it appears that Wu is returning to competition while training with the Mission Viejo Nadadores in California, where Jeff Julian is now leading the groups pro/elite training group.

We couldn’t find any recent official results for Wu, though he is entered with a 48.71 in the 100-yard fly. That means he will race in the early heats with other yards-qualifying swimmers. Wu re-entered the China Anti-Doping agency testing pool last year, and a vlog he posted in 2022 showed him training at Mission Viejo as well.

Wu lived and trained in the US from 2010-2013 and founded a swim lesson company in China. He has also worked as a commentator for major international swim meets.

While Wu never achieved his childhood goal of becoming the first Chinese man to win an Olympic medal in swimming, he did stand on a number of other podiums in his career. He won a silver medal in the 200 fly at the 2007 World Championships, plus bronze medals in 2005, 2011, and 2013. In short course, he was the World Champion in the 200 fly in 2006 and the bronze medalist in 2004.

He also won four career gold medals at the Asian Games, including in the 200 back, 200 fly, and 400 IM.

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2 months ago

Wu was a decent swimmer but to say he was “one of the primary global antagonists” to Phelps is an overstatement. He beat Phelps in April 2011 when Phelps swam poorly coming in 4th. So, yes, it’s cool to beat Phelps and break his streak but so did two other people. Three months later in 2011 Phelps won World Championships in the 200 fly, easily beating Wu by more than a full second.  

On the global stage Wu was not an antagonist. In 2012 Wu beat him one more time at a local meet where they both swam pretty slow, 1.56. At the Olympics a few months later Wu didn’t even make the finals. 

Brandon, your statement “While that didn’t foreshadow Wu’s own victory at the… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Akwa
2 months ago


2 months ago

Wu seeing the state of Chinese men’s swimming

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Last edited 2 months ago by DCSwim
2 months ago

I believe he trained in Michigan for a while many years ago. Cannot remember is with UM or Club Wolverine

2 months ago

Meet the Wu

Berkoff / Rouse / Carey
2 months ago

I love Chinese swimmers. Underrated.

2 months ago

Wu Peng 2.0

2 months ago

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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