Yu Hexin Clocks 50 Free National Record But Denied Final Swim


  • September 26th – October 2nd
  • Qingdao, China
  • LCM (50m)
  • Results via Asian Media

While competing at the 2020 Chinese Swimming Championships, 24-year-old Yu Hexin threw down a new national record in the men’s 50m freestyle.

Racing in the heats of day 1 of the 7-day affair, Yu punched a time of 21.79 to take the top seed easily. His huge swim here in Qingdao overtakes the previous Chinese national mark of 21.91 Ning Zetao logged way back in 2013. Ning, who took the 100m free world title in 2015, has since retired.

Entering this meet Yu’s lifetime best rested at the 22.00 he put up 6 years ago en route to gold at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. At the time, his outing established a new World Junior Record, a mark which has since been overwritten by American Michael Andrew’s 21.75.

Yu took the 2018 Asian Games gold medal in a time of 22.15, beating out the likes of Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura. In Gwangju at the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships, Yu checked in with a time of 22.11 in the semi-finals to render himself in 15th place.

You can view video of Yu’s 21.79 record-breaking swim at the bottom of this post.

It’s important to note, however, that Yu will not get a chance to lower the mark, as he is blocked from competing in tonight’s finals. He failed to make the top 8 in the pre-competition physical tests held September 22nd to 23rd as part of coronavirus measures.

Per Xinhuanet, according to the requirements of the General Administration of Sports of China, only those who passed the physical tests standard can qualify for the championships finals.

The swimmers took part in vertical jumps, 30-meter sprints, pull-ups, trunk muscle strength training, and 3,000-meter runs in the two-day physical tests.

China.org reports that Yu Jingyao and Fu Yuanhui are in the same boat, having qualified timewise for the final, but not according to the physical tests.


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2 years ago

I’m not ruling out some nefarious reason for this but “stupid and/or incompetent administration” is always my first guess when it comes to situations like this. I’m familiar with a US sport federation that for decades has used similar tests to promote good “test takers” over athletes who have already proved their ability in the actual sport.

2 years ago

Imagine not letting a guy swim based on his inability to do physical tasks completely unrelated to swimming.

Absolutely stupid.

Last edited 2 years ago by M D E
2 years ago

This test is conducted in every sports, even chess players have to do it.

Reply to  SNY
2 years ago

The day I see a jacked, burly chess champion scares me.

2 years ago

The physical test is kind of a ridiculous decision

Last edited 2 years ago by swimfan210_
2 years ago

Would China still be invited to the next Olympics given they’re making so many enemies around the world

Last edited 2 years ago by Verram
Reply to  Verram
2 years ago

You made me choke on my water from the surprise of seeing a comment like this.

2 years ago

Perhaps they got word there would be drug testing after the final and this was a convenient way to avoid it.

Reply to  Wahooswimfan
2 years ago

I hope that’s not the case but it makes more sense to me than not allowing someone to swim a 50 free A final because they can’t run 2 miles fast enough.

Reply to  Wahooswimfan
2 years ago

I don’t know if that’s the reason, but it does sound kind of fishy. I don’t believe anyone at a high level of the Chinese swimming or sports bureaucracy would exclude their best guy because he failed some battery of tests that have little to do with his sport.

Reply to  Ferb
2 years ago

You shouldn’t try to find out a rational reason for all these stupid decisions, when the director of sports of China is a man with electrical engineering background who knows nothing about sport.

2 years ago

Guess he’ll have to work on his 2-mile run time…I’m sure there is some correlation to one lap of swimming

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  PhillyMark
2 years ago

That’s funny. Why would anyone think these requirements are a good idea?

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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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