Zhang Yufei Opts Out Of 50 Free Swim-Off For Finals Slot

2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES

The women’s 50m freestyle saw Australian Emma McKeon top the field with a semi-final time of 24.00. That sliced .02 off of her own previous Olympic Record of 24.02, a mark registered during the heats of the event here in Tokyo.

Further down the line, however, were a pair of Chinese teammates who wound up tying for 8th place.

Wu Qingfeng and Zhang Yufei both scored a time of 24.32 to match each other in place 8th after the semi-finals. Normally this would result in a swim-off to determine the final placing. However, the official results do not list a swim-off as having taken place or scheduled for the future.

The start lists for the 50m free for the final, however, solely list Wu as the 8th seeded swimmer, and Zhang as an alternate, thus implying that Zhang relinquished her tied position and gave it to Wu.

SwimSwam has reached out to FINA for more details, but as of publishing they have not responded.

After prelims of the 50 free, Zhang said that her swim was “not as good as (she) expected.” That, combined with a crucial medley relay leg where China enters the final ranked 8th, probably drove the decision to scratch.

Wu was the anchor of the prelims medley relay, and also had the team’s fastest split on the 400 free relay (52.90), so she still has to deal with the double. Skipping the swim-off, though, keeps an extra race of both athletes’ plates heading into the relay.

Zhang had a tough double on day 6, but conquered it with a winning time in the women’s 200m fly and then also racing as part of her nation’s 4x200m free relay, which won in world-record-setting time.

After these 50m free semi-finals, Zhang was right back in the water racing in the mixed medley relay. She produced a solid split of 55.48 on the fly leg while her team collectively clocked a time of 3:38.86 to take silver behind winner Great Britain.

 

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Boomer
1 month ago

Solid? That was an amazing split! especially for such a quick turnaround

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
1 month ago

Isn’t it more likely that Yang anchors the 400 medley? She was 52.7 yesterday and doesn’t have the double.

boknows34
1 month ago

She’s had a brilliant week.

Lis
1 month ago

This girl is like a ray of sunshine, I can’t help but cheer for her even though I know nothing about her outside of this week

JVW
1 month ago

Do we really believe that she opted out, or do we think that the Chinese coaches told her she couldn’t swim in the swim-off in order to conserve her for the relay?

Last edited 1 month ago by JVW
Oof
Reply to  JVW
1 month ago

By “we” I think you mean just yourself

JVW
Reply to  Oof
1 month ago

I keep forgetting that there are a bunch of Chinese swimming fans commenting here who will bear no criticism of their authoritarian government. I should have remembered all of the Sun Yang fanbois who have spent the last couple of years vehemently protesting his innocence in the comments section on this site.

Oof
Reply to  JVW
1 month ago

Lol I’m American, just not an ass. What a pathetic response, fitting your other comment to a tee

Francis
Reply to  JVW
1 month ago

right, because the american government is the leader in morals. /s

JVW
Reply to  Francis
1 month ago

Get back to me when the American government does anything as awful as what the Chinese are doing the Uyghurs. Or maybe that doesn’t concern you because you are blissfully ignorant or fantastically stupid. Either one is easy enough to believe.

JVX
Reply to  JVW
1 month ago

Is that what the American government tells you? LOL

NornIron Swim
Reply to  JVW
1 month ago

She might be being a good teammate. “I’ve had my success this week. Go and get yours.”
At least that’s how I would like to look at it!

Njones
Reply to  JVW
1 month ago

Well…
a) her teammate is in the exact same position so one of them will have the double on the day
b) she’s already performed arguably the most impressive double in history with her “3:59 fly/free 400m” the other night, that would be 2 gold in the 200fly in 2:03 followed by a 1:55 split to help her 4×2 free relay not long after…

JVW
Reply to  Njones
1 month ago

Those are certainly good points. My guess would be that the Chinese coaches might think that the fly will be the key leg on the women’s relay, so that’s why they want to rest Zhang while letting Wu swim the 50 final.

Last edited 1 month ago by JVW
DLSwim
1 month ago

It was a smart decision. Zhang was unlikely to make the podium anyway, and she already is a gold medalist.

M L
1 month ago

Ahem, this is what MA should be doing in the 50…

Karl Hallesy
1 month ago

Its so nice to see how polite the swimmers are to each other! I especially Love watching how they hug and shake each others hands win or lose! And even the tough races such as the relays the teams go shake each others hands. So this does not surprise me at all. The Chinese swimmers are so nice to give up her own spot! Congratulations!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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