Xu Jiayu Clocks 1:53.99 To Break Own Chinese Record In Men’s 200 Back


China’s Xu Jiayu won the men’s 200 backstroke emphatically at the Asian Games in Jakarta, breaking his own National Record in a time of 1:53.99. His previous mark was 1:54.03, set at the 2017 Chinese National Championships.

Xu was out fast, flipping at the 50 in 26.04 and the 100 in 54.59. Ryosuke Irie, the three-time defending champion from Japan, was almost two seconds back, but held even with Xu on the third 50 and made up some ground coming home. Despite making up almost seven-tenths on the last 50, Xu was way too far ahead, as Irie settled for the silver in 1:55.11. Irie remains the Games Record holder with his 1:53.26 from 2014.

The gold here in the 200 also gives Xu the backstroke sweep for the competition, the first time it’s been done since the introduction of the 50 in 2006. Prior to that, the only man to ever sweep the 100/200 was Japan’s Tadashi Honda, who did the double in both 1970 and 1974. Irie also did the 100/200 double himself after the 50 was introduced in both 2010 and 2014.

With his swim, the 23-year-old overtakes Irie and Australian Mitch Larkin for 3rd in the world for 2018, trailing only Evgeny Rylov (1:53.36) of Russia and Ryan Murphy (1:53.57) of the United States. Xu previously sat 5th in the world with his 1:55.43 from the Chinese Championships. In the all-time rankings, Xu remains the 8th faster performer in history.

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Love to Swim

Video of the race (not the best quality):


Love to Swim

26.0 at 50? That is ridiculously fast. To go 1.53 off that pace is seriously impressive

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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