World Record holding swimmer Ye Shiwen says that she’ll likely retire from competitive swimming after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, despite being only 20 years old.
Ye is the current World Record holder in the 400 meter IM in long course meters from the 2012 Summer Olympic Games where she swam a 4:28.43 at just 16 years old. She’s also the defending Olympic champion and the Olympic Record holder in the 200 IM.
Speaking with NBCOlympics.com at the Chinese National Team training camp in Norwalk, Connecticut on Saturday, Ye said that next month’s Olympic Games would probably be her last, which would end a career that burned as brightly as any for a brief period from 2011-2012 (where she was a World Champion in long course and short course meters, plus an Olympic Champion), but fizzled rapidly thereafter on battles with injury. Ye finished 7th in the 400 IM at the 2013 World Championships and 15th (and shy of the final) in Kazan, the latter of which came while battling a reported broken bone in her ankle.
Ye placed 7th at this year’s Chinese Olympic Trials in the 400 IM, 22 seconds from her own personal best, but as the World Record holder and defending champion, China still decided she had a better chance at a medal than the trials runner-up Wang Xingya (4:42.45) did. Ye recovered from a stomach issue during that 400 IM to have a better performance later in the week in the 200 IM.
Ye’s time progression in the 200IM and 400 IM at her major long course championship (2010-2015)
|Meet||200 IM||400 IM|
|2010 Asian Games||2:09.37 (1st)||4:33.79 (1st)|
|2011 World Championships||2:08.90 (1st)||4:35.15 (5th)|
|2012 Olympic Games||2:07.57 (1st)||4:28.43 (1st)|
|2013 World Championships||2:10.48 (4th)||4:38.51 (7th)|
|2014 Asian Games||2:08.94 (1st)||4:32.97 (1st)|
|2015 World Championships||2:14.01 (8th)||4:42.96 (15th)|