With Ye Absent, Zhou and Chen Both Under World Junior Mark in 200 IM; Sun Unimpressive in 1500

Coming into this week’s Chinese Spring National Championships, there were some question-marks about where Sun Yang’s conditioning would be after 6 months on competition suspension.

There were rumors that he wouldn’t even try the 1500 free, an event in which he’s the current World Record holder and by far the best in the world over the last two years. While he put those to bed early this meet, confirming that he’d race the 1500, he didn’t exactly look like himself on Saturday with a 15:01.33. While that’s faster than his main rival, Canadian Ryan Cochrane, has been this year, Sun is usually much faster at this time of year than Cochrane, so the relative parity (less than half-a-second separation) is worrisome.

That still gave him a win by 7 seconds over Wang Kecheng (15:08.05), but wasn’t the standard that we’re used to seeing from Sun in this event. At last year’s equivalent of this meet (albeit a month earlier in the year), he was a 14:48, for example.

He was one of 5 individual winners on a busy Saturday evening. Shanghai’s Tang Yi continues to bounce all over the place in her career; she won the 50 free, but in just a 25.33. She was followed by teammate Chen Xinyi (25.43) and Zhejiang’s Zhu Menghui (25.44).

The women’s 200 backstroke went to Chen Jie from Hubei in 2:09.70, followed by the more sprint-oriented Fu Yuanhui and Liu Yaxin in a tie for 2nd at 2:10.17. Bai Anqi, who is the only representative from China in this event at Worlds last year, wasn’t in the top three.

Shanghai’s Zhou Min won the women’s 200 IM in 2:10.22, with the absence of Ye Shiwen, who is battling a stomach ailment after an impressive 400 IM earlier in the week.

That swim for the 16-year old Zhou clears the Junior World Record standard, making her the first holder of the time. The official Junior World Record is a 2:12.32 belonging to Ruta Meilutyte from the 2013 Junior World Championships.

Chen Xinyi was 2nd in 2:10.92; she’s also just 16, but was beaten to that Junior World mark.

Li Xiang won the men’s 50 breaststroke in an unimpressive 28.19; and Zheijang took the men’s 400 medley relay in 3:39.50.

Full top three results.

Women 50 Free
Tang Yi, Shanghai 25″33
Chen Xinyi, Shanghai 25″43
Zhu Menghui, Zhejiang 25″44

Men 50 Breast
Li Xiang, Tianjin 28″19
Wang Shuai, Beijing 28″23
Ma Xiang, Tianjin 28″33

Women 200 Back
Chen Jie, Hubei 2″09″70
Fu Yuanhui, Zhejiang 2″10″17
Liu Yaxin, Zhejiang 2’10″17

Men 1500 Free
Sun Yang, Zhejiang 15’01″33
Wang Kecheng, Hunan 15’08″05
Zu Lijun, Army 15’14″15

Women 200 IM
Zhou Min, Shanghai 2’10″22
Chen Xinyi, Shanghai 2’10″92
Zhang Sishi, Shanghai 2’12″58

Men 4×100 MR
Zhejiang, 3’39″50
Beijing, 3’41″52
Guangdong, 3’43″09

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Pvdh

Sun’s time in the 1500 could be coming to an end. His increased speed in the 200 and 100 is a good indicator.

mcgillrocks

In 2001 Grant Hackett was on the top of his game, swimming pretty dang good times in the 400 and 800 (3:42 and 7:40), and dominated the 800.

In 2003, two years later, he went 3:45, 7:43 and 14:43. If swimming 10 seconds over his best in the 1500 meant he was done for, clearly, Hackett’s career would be over. However he managed to win Olympic gold in 2004 and dominate the 800 in 2005, before claiming a silver in 2008.

Sun Yang is far from done, even if he swims 14:55 in Incheon. Long term, losing could be the best possible thing that could propel him to going under 14:30.

beachmouse

If Sun is affected by the missed training time in the past year, seems like it’s mot likely to show in the 1500 where you do need the big endurance base to succeed, and not in the shorter stuff where established technique carries you through a lot when the endurance may lack. He’ll probably be well back on track in 1500/800 this time next year if his training remains stable and will be a force at Worlds.

john26

He’ll probably still win the Asian crown no sweat this year. His top competitor will probably be Park, but I think he could do a 14:45 or so and take it.

His technique etc still make him unparallel in this event. I am worried about his present form, as I’ve voices earlier after he only swam a 3:45, but I feel like his time is far from over.

aswimfan

Also, Sun Yang has not been back to Australia to train with Cotterell this year, but he said he’ll do it soon. And all those missed training certainly affected 1,500 the most. He’ll be fine come Asian Games.
I hope Yang swim in Pan Pacs, although I heard China is not sending a big team to Gold Coast this year.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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