Wang Shun Breaks Asian Record in 400 IM on Day 2 at Chinese Nationals

Day 1 on Wednesday at Chinese Nationals were pretty quick. Day 2, however, really lit things on fire, beginning with an Asian Record from Wang Shun in the men’s 400 IM. He blew away the competition in a 4:11.61. That clears the old mark set by countrymate Wang Chengxiang that was at the spring version of this meet in 4:11.89.

For Wang Shun, who had never before cleared 4:14 in this race, this is a lightning bolt of a swim, and is probably going to stand as the most significant of the meet. He didn’t get a chance to swim this race at Worlds (China did put two men into the finals), but this race puts him ahead of David Verraszto for the 4th in the world rankings. And even scarier, Wang Shun is only 17 years old! The runner-up in the race was Huang Chaosheng in 4:12.54, a career-best for him as well, and he too is only 17 years old! The former record holder and aforemention Wang Chengxiang is only 19 years old, which means that China now has three of the top 9 400 IM’ers in the world, and  all three are teenagers. That is a staggering result.

For comparison (and I know you were thinking it), Wang Shun’s time is within a second of Michael Phelps’ best time as a 17-year old of 4:10.73 (and he doesn’t turn 18 until February). That kid has a bright future if he can stay the course.

The shots kept coming from the young Chinese contingent. On the women’s side, Tang Yi, who at only 18 has been a star for years now, took the win in the 100 free in 54.65 (she was a 54.08 at spring Nationals). She was followed by Wang Shija in 55.38, though she was probably hoping for a slightly better mark.

In the women’s 50 fly, a deep field featured a win by Lu Ying in 25.99, which was a tenth slower than she went for her 4th-place time at Worlds. Taking 2nd and 3rd places were season-best (or very near season-best) times from Ling Shuyuan (26.64) and Jiao Liuyang (26.75). For Liuyang, who is a 200 butterfly specialist, this is a great mark. If she can continue to improve her speed in this 50, she could be unstoppable in the 200 by London.

In the women’s 800 free, Shao Yiwen took the win in a career-best of 8:24.78 that jumps her up to 6th in the 2011 World Rankings. This is not a surprising result for the 16-year old, as you will recall that she is the swimmer who took her prelims swim out in the 1500 at a break-neck pace in Shanghai but seemed to be gassed by the time she got to the individual 800 portion of the meet. This 8:24 improves her time from Worlds by a full five seconds (though her 800 meter split in the longer distance was almost as fast as her individual swim).

Another great time was posted by Li Xuanxu in 8:25.18, and though she was a bit faster at spring Nationals in an 8:23, this is a great bounceback swim for her. She was held out of this race at Worlds, so her coaches are probably pleased to see her end the season on a high-note in this swim.

This Chinese National Team is an incredibly young one, on both sides of the pool, and they are showing that despite their ages, they have the times to compete with any country in the world. The challenge for them is still going to be hitting their strides at the international event rather than their national championship races, but if they can do that, the American medal counts could be in for a world of hurt in London.

Full Medal Results from Day 2

W 100 free
Tang Yi 54″65
Wang Shijia 55″38
Zheng Yanan 55″49

M 400 IM
Wang Shun 4’11″61 AR
Huang Chaosheng 4’12″54
Yang Zhixian 4’13″77

W 50 fly
Lu Ying 25″99
Ling Shuyuan 26″64
Jiao Liuyang 26″75

M 50 free
Shi Tengfei 22″66
Shi Yang 22″79
Hu Yue 22″92

M 4X200 FR
Zhejiang 7’21″25
Tianjing 7’24″74
Jiangsu 7’27″95

W 800 free
Shao Yiwen 8’24″78
Li Xuanxu 8’25″18
Bi Yirong 8’34″09

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I am eager to see what Wang’s 200 IM time will be. He is previously better known for his 200 IM (Asian Games 200 IM silver medalist). He also swam the first leg in China’s 4×200 free relay at the worlds. He trains in the same camp as Sun Yang.

Names that are not at this meet include Ye Shiwen, Liu Zige and Zhang Lin. It is reported that Zhang Lin will spend two months to train in Dave Salo’s camp.


Yes BK, I have to admit that I was thinking about the comparison by the second paragraph, and you didn’t hold us back in suspense for a little more than few sentences later you told us about the 17 year young mr. MP 🙂

Can’t wait for more great results from this wang in the near future!


Wow. Three guys under 4:13, all under 19 years old. Staggering is right.

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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