Zhang Yufei Entered In 50 Free But Not 100 Free At World Championships


FINA recently released all of the entrants for the upcoming 2022 World Championships by country and event, meaning that we have a good idea of who will be swimming in what races come time for the competition.

Something that we caught onto was that in addition to the 50/100/200 fly, Chinese swimmer Zhang Yufei will be swimming the 50 free instead of the 100 free at Worlds. This comes despite the fact that she holds the Chinese record in the 100 free, which is a time of 52.90 that she clocked in May 2021. In the 50 free, Zhang holds a best time of 24.29, which is the fourth-fastest in the world this year and the third-fastest out of all of the women entered in the event.

Instead, Yang Junxuan and Cheng Yujie will be representing China in the 100 free. Last year, Zhang and Chinese swimmer Wu Qingfung both tied for eighth in the semifinals of the 50 free, meaning that they needed a swimoff to decide who would get the finals spot. However, Zhang ended up scratching the event, allowing for her teammate to move up.

It is important to note that China’s Worlds section meet, the 2022 Chinese National Championships, were postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19. Their Worlds team was instead selected based off of “internal tests” at a national team training camp.

Schedule-wise, this decision makes a lot of sense of Zhang. The semifinals of the 100 free fall on the same night that she has both the finals of the 200 fly and the 4×200 free relay. Given that she already has an Olympic gold medal in both events, it would make more sense for her to shift her focus there rather than the 100 free, which she barely swims at major international meets. Even without the 100 free, Zhang’s schedule with potentially five relays and the prelims, semis, and finals of four individual events is still a very hefty one.

Here’s what Zhang’s schedule looks like if she swims on all five relays and makes the finals in all her individual events.

Zhang Yufei 2022 Worlds Schedule:

Day 1:

  • 100 Fly Prelims
  • 100 Fly Semis
  • 4×100 Free Finals

Day 2:

  • 100 Fly Finals

Day 3:

  • OFF

Day 4:

  • 200 Fly Prelims
  • 200 Fly Semis
  • 4×100 Mixed Medley Relay Finals

Day 5:

  • 200 Fly Finals
  • 4×200 Free Relay Finals

Day 6:

  • 50 Fly Heats
  • 50 Fly Semis

Day 7:

  • 50 Free Heats
  • 50 Fly Final
  • 50 Free Semis
  • 4×100 Mixed Free Relay

Day 8:

  • 50 Free Final
  • 4×100 Medley Relay Final

As you can see, Zhang’s schedule includes only one off day and five different days with multi-event session doubles. She even has a potential triple on day seven, in which she will have the 50 fly final followed by the 50 free semifinal and the 4×100 mixed free relay (if she swims on it) all in one night.

Zhang comes into Worlds as a favorite to win the 100 and 200 fly. Her best time of 2:03.86 in the 200 fly is the fastest textile swim ever for a woman, and her best time of 55.62 in the 100 fly is the fastest out of all of the entrants in the field (in the absence of defending Olympic champion Maggie MacNeil).

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7 months ago

Still to much

Pacific Whirl
7 months ago

CHENG didn’t enter this event last year, so she didn’t “tied for eighth”.

Scuncan Dott
7 months ago

Some interesting GBR entries: Freya Anderson is entered in the 400 free and Tom Dean is choosing to swim the 200IM over the 100 Free which means Whittle will swim the 100 Free individually.

7 months ago

That’s purely scheduling

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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