Ye Shiwen Hits Near-Lifetime Best 2:22.55 200 Breast On Day 6 Of 2024 Chinese Nationals


We’re over the halfway point of the 10-day 2024 Chinese National Swimming Championships and tonight’s finals session saw more names added to the provisional roster for this summer’s Olympic Games.

Zhang Yufei got it done for gold in the women’s 200m fly with the Olympic multi-medalist producing a winning effort of 2:06.40.

That easily cleared the World Aquatics Olympic Qualification Time of 2:08.43 needed for Paris 2024.

Zhang has already been as quick as 2:05.57 in this event, a time she put up to become the Asian Games champion. That competition, however, did not serve as a selection meet for the Olympic Games so the 26-year-old needed to make it happen here. She remains the #2 Chinse performer of all-time, courtesy of the 2:03.86 logged at the Olympic Games.

Joining Zhang in qualification was Chen Luying who hit 2:06.81 for silver. This blew away the 2:08.36 she notched at December’s Chinese National Championships and she now ranks as China’s 7th-swiftest performer in history. Gong Zhenqi got to the wall in 2:07.28 for bronze.

28-year-old Ye Shiwen turned in a time of 2:22.55, a near-lifetime best, to earn the top prize in the women’s 200m breast.

Shiwen split 32.86/35.88/36.70/37.11 to come within .10 of her 2:22.44 PB put on the books at last year’s Chinese Nationals. That rendered her China’s #3 performer in history. Her outing this evening adds her name to the Paris 2024 roster and ranks her 5th in the world on the season.

2023-2024 LCM Women 200 Breast

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Snagging the silver behind Ye was the 100m breast champion Tan Qianting. 20-year-old Tang got to the wall in 2:25.27. That was off her PB of 2:24.26 from 2021 and also short of the OQT of 2:23.91.

Xu Jiayu already won the men’s 100m back here in a Paris-worthy result, however, his effort in the 200m back missed the mark.

28-year-old Xu posted a time of 1:57.70 to lead the rather lackluster final, as Wang Yutian was next in 1:58.29 and Tao Guannan rounded out the podium in 1:58.53.

Xu’s season-best is represented by the 1:55.37 established at the Asian Games to rank #2 in the world. Only Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez has been quicker with the 1:55.30 notched at this year’s World Championships.

At the 2020 Olympic Games, Xu scored a time of 1:57.76 to place 15th out of the heats before withdrawing the event.


  • The fastest 100m freestyler on the planet right now, 19-year-old Pan Zhanle staked his claim on the 50m free during tonight’s semi-final. The teen punched a time of 21.99 to land lane 4, coming within .07 of his lifetime best 21.92 nabbed at the Asian Games. Yu Hexin is in hot pursuit, holding the 2nd seed in 22.18 while Wang Haoyu turned in 22.46 to also flank Pan for tomorrow’s main event.
  • The women’s 200m back saw Peng Xuwei produce the sole time of the field under the 2:10-barrier. She earned the pole position in 2:09.24 to hold a healthy advantage over Sun Mingxia who touched in 2:11.61. Zhang Jingyan secured the 3rd seed in 2:12.01. Peng’s time already dipped under the OQT of 2:09.68 so she’ll need to repeat that caliber of performance to make the grade. Peng and Liu Yaxin finished 1-2 at the Asian Games, with the former logging 2:07.28 to the latter’s 2:08.70. Liu turned in a time of 2:12.61 to claim the 5th seed out of tonight’s semi-final so she has some work to do to hit the QT.
  • Reigning Olympic champion Wang Shun ripped a mark of 1:57.24 to take the top seed in the men’s 200m IM. That represented the only performance of ten field to clear the 2:00 barrier. That’s a solid stepping stone along the 30-year-old’s path to possibly repeating the world-leading 1:54.62 outing he produced for gold at the Asian Games. 16-year-old Zhang Zhanshuo sits as the #2 seed in 2:00.64 and He Yubo registered 2:01.58 to also be in the mix. Only 2 Chinese swimmers have ever delved under the OQT of 1:57.94 needed for Paris – Wang and Qin Haiyang and Qin was not among the competitors.

Chinese Olympic Qualifiers Through Day 5

  • Note: times crossed out means a swimmer was faster than the qualifying standard, but was either faster at a prior qualifying meet, or are not in the top two swimmers during the qualifying period.

OQT’s Clocked Thus Far at the 2024 Chinese Nationals

OQT’s Clocked From 2023/2024 World Championships

  • Men’s 100m free – Pan Zhanle (46.80), Wang Haoyu (48.06)
  • Men’s 1500m free – Fei Liwei (14:50.51)
  • Men’s 100m back – Xu Jiayu (52.54)
  • Men’s 100m breast – Qin Haiyang (57.69), Yan Zibei (59.23)
  • Men’s 200m breast – Qin Haiyang (2:05.48), Dong Zhihao (2:07.94)
  • Women’s 50m free – Zhang Yufei (24.15), Cheng Yujie (24.45)
  • Women’s 100m free – Cheng Yujie (53.39)
  • Women’s 200m free – Li Bingjie (1:55.83), Liu Yaxin (1:56.97)
  • Women’s 400m free – Li Bingjie (4:01.62), Yang Peiqi (4:05.73)
  • Women’s 800m free – Li Bingjie (8:13.31)
  • Women’s 1500m free – Li Bingjie (15:45.71)
  • Women’s 100m back – Wan Letian (59.49)
  • Women’s 200m back – Peng Xuwei (2:06.74)
  • Women’s 100m breast – Tang Qianting (1:05.27)Yang Chang (1:06.75)
  • Women’s 100 fly – Zhang Yufei (56.12)
  • Women’s 200m IM – Yu Yiting (2:08.74)

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Jamba Juice drinker 49
28 days ago


USA Taking drugs with a license
Reply to  Jamba Juice drinker 49
28 days ago

you mean the american’s patients?

Reply to  Jamba Juice drinker 49
28 days ago

You haven’t heard of her story then…

28 days ago

Great job Ye. Really nailed it after missing the boat to Tokyo.

Stay composed to swim in Paris while you are definitely gonna come across sour grapes and ostriches in the sand.

29 days ago

Have they run out of supplies?

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Paul
29 days ago

We’ll see in Paris. Although they will probably taper off it.

29 days ago

I think there needs to be an eye kept on Gong Zhenqi, who just went 2:07.28 in the 200 Fly at the age of 14. Her best time before this competition was 2:11.97 from just four months ago. If the current trajectories hold then I wouldn’t be surprised if Zhang is out of the top two domestically in this event by Budapest in 2027.

Last edited 29 days ago by Tencor
29 days ago

I may have missed it, but did Ye swim either/both IM?

Reply to  OldNotDead
29 days ago

Crashed out of heats in the 400 and is scratching the 200 due to illness

Reply to  Tencor
29 days ago

Thanks…that’s too bad about the 400 – she had a respectable 4:38 last year.

David S
29 days ago

Last time I saw Ye Shiwen she beat Ryan Lochte in the freestyle split.

Reply to  David S
29 days ago

You must’ve been asleep for 12 years.

Slow Breastroker
Reply to  David S
28 days ago

Thanks for admitting you didn’t follow swimming since 2012.

29 days ago

I know there’s more suspicion than ever (not unfairly) over those IMs in London but I still really admire Ye.

She was caught in the middle of a global media firestorm at 16, clearly went through some tough times but has persevered as an elite swimmer while also attending an elite university.

We can question her physical performances but there’s no pill for resilience and determination.

Reply to  Togger
29 days ago

How do people forget that she was a world champion the year before in Shanghai? It’s not as if she was A COMPLETE unknown

Reply to  Mott
29 days ago

Agree, but her winning Worlds probably got an article in each of Swimswam and Swimming World and a few lines in Chinese language papers.

When she won Olympics she was front page news around the world with lots of insinuations about the free split, must have been awful.

Slow Breastroker
Reply to  Mott
28 days ago

And how did people forget she won Asian Games two years earlier at the age of 14.

Meanwhile, people didn’t question Ruta Meilutyte and Ledecky who literally came out of nowhere.

Aragon Son of Arathorne
29 days ago

LFG Kate!

Aragon Son of Arathorne
Reply to  Aragon Son of Arathorne
28 days ago

lots of non Americans here I see. Game on.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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