China’s Shiwen Ye picked up her first event victory of the 2013 Chinese National Championships on Tuesday, locking 2:09.08 on her 200 IM.
That time improves her world-leading time from January, and leaves her a second-and-a-half faster than anybody else has been this year.
Further, with countrymates Zhou Min (2:11.50) and Zhang Wenqing (2:11.73) both breaking the 2:12 barrier, China how has three of the six fastest 200 IM’ers in the world to date. Last year, only Australia, the USA, and Hungary were able to put three swimmers under 2:12.
In a day where the women’s races were the highlight, Lu Ying won the 100 fly in 57.94. She was followed by Jiao Liuyang in 58.02 and Liu Lan in 58.52. With Lu Zige finishing outside the top three in finals (though the results aren’t binding), it’s likely that Liuyang and Ying will be the tandem in this shorter butterfly race again at this year’s World Championships.
In men’s finals, Wu Peng won the 50 fly in 23.78, and Whang Shuai won a lackluster 100 breaststroke in 1:01.11. Though that ranks outside of the world’s top 10 this year (as the first major Trials meet of the year, one expects most winners to be near the top of the world), it is as fast as any Chinese swimmer went last season. Further, it’s a best time for Shuai after a few years of stagnation in his results.
In the semi-final results. Sun Yang put himself in position for another title with an easy 1:46.23. That ranks him second to only Yannick Agnel in the world this year. Hao Yun and Wang Shun were both 1:48’s in that semi-final.
Liu Xiaoyu topped women’s 100 breaststroke semi-final in 1:07.60; Fu Yuanhui led the women’s 100 back semi-final in 1:00.39; and He Jianbing was at the front of the men’s 100 backstroke field in 53.96.
Zhang Lin, the World Record holder who many were hoping could regain form after a dreadful 2011 and 2012 season, started his meet in the 200 free. He failed to even make the semi-final of that race; he’ll now swim the 100 freestyle later on, but suffice it to say that we;re a long, long way from seeing Lin on the international stage anytime soon.