Wang Shun of China, the reigning Olympic champion in the men’s 200m IM, has been making some major noise already this season.
Competing at the Chinese Spring Nationals in March, 29-year-old Wang logged a solid result of 1:57.19 in the 2IM to qualify for this summer’s World Championships, easily dipping under the World Aquatics ‘A’ cut of 1:59.53. At the time, Wang ranked 3rd in the world in the event.
Just one month later, however, Wang took things to an entirely new level, rocking a stunning 1:55.55 at the Chinese National meet.
His outing fell only .55 outside the 1:55.00 Asian Record he set en route to winning Olympic gold in Tokyo. It also ranked Wang as the #1 performer in the world in the event, joining Frenchman Leon Marchand (1:55.68) as the only two swimmers to have delved under the 1:56 barrier thus far this season.
But it wasn’t a bumpless road from Tokyo to 2023, as Wang suffered defeat at last year’s World Championships.
In Budapest, Wang logged a disappointing time of 2:00.71 to surprisingly finish 15th and out of the 2IM final. That discouraging result wound up being a blessing in disguise for the veteran, however, as Wang used it as fuel in his quest to repeat Olympic gold.
In a recent interview with Sports Scene, Wang talked about how that Budapest performance helped rekindle his fire for competition, leading him to where he is now with Paris 2024 just over one year away.
“After I won gold in Tokyo, I felt like I had lost my purpose because I had achieved my ultimate goal. I lost my motivation.
“So after Budapest, my will to compete in Paris became stronger because I found my purpose and motivation again. So, I want to thank that experience in Budapest because it pulled me back and I found myself again.”
Reflecting on his successful 2023 thus far, Wang said, “This time my medals reflect my training during the winter period. I think it’s a good start to the 2023 season.
“The last time I had this kind of form was at the Tokyo Olympics, so it’s been 1 1/2 years.”
Although Wang will have his hands full this summer at the World Championships in Fukuoka, the Asian Games this fall, as well as the 2024 Olympic Games, the veteran relishes the opportunity to take on the best athletes on the planet.
“We must thank our opponents. Motivation comes from competition. Their achievements push me forward and we grow stronger together,” he told Sports Scene.
Wang is set to race at his 7th World Championships and 4th Asian Games where he’ll most likely face off against the likes of the aforementioned Marchand, Daiya Seto of Japan, Chase Kalisz of the United States, and more.
Might take a sub 1:55 to get on the podium. That would be nuts!
everybody Wang Shun tonight
Looking forward to his performances in WC and Asia Games 2023.
He sent MA into 200IM retirement with his freestyle leg
Everybody Wang Shun tonight!
Leon needs to break 1.55 to beat this dude
Men’s 200 IM will be very competitive.
Hes a one hit wonder. Still olym champ 🤷♀️
Wang Shun was 200 IM medalist at 2015 World Championships, 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships.
and went 1:56 for 4th place at 2013 worlds
Average wang shun meatrider
One hit wonder with top 3 finishes at major international competitions for over a decade…