CHINESE LONG COURSE INVITATIONAL
- Thursday, December 31st – Sunday, January 3rd
- Shijiazhuang City, China
- LCM (50m)
- SwimSwam Preview
- Results via Asian Media
One of two Chinese long course meets has kicked off tonight in Shijiazhuang City, with some of the nation’s biggest stars set to swim.
As we mentioned in our preview linked above, only the top 16 athletes in each individual event at the 2020 National Swimming Championships have been formally invited, along with additional wild card spots for other national swimming team and national swimming training camp athletes. Wild card athletes must have participated in events hosted by the China Swimming Association after January 1, 2019.
Also of note is the fact that the prelims are taking place in the evening while finals are slated for each morning session, giving athletes a taste of the timing that will be place come the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games this July.
Notable day 1 heats results included a big 2:05.70 swim from Zhang Yufei in the women’s 200m fly. Scorching the field to land lane 4 in the only sub-2:10 outing of her competitors, Zhang split 59.10/1:06.60 to produce the top long course time in the world so far this season.
For perspective, her time here crushes the 2:06.61 she produced in Jakarta to take the 2018 Asian Games title in the event and blows the uncharacteristic 2:14.20 she logged in Gwangju at last year’s World Championships out of the water.
22-year-old Zhang’s time tonight also overtakes her own previous lifetime best of 2:06.17 from 2017, a mark which had rendered her as China’s 4th fastest performer in history. This outing maintains that position but with the final yet to go.
Zhang doubled up on top seeds, also ripping a new lifetime best in the 50m free before the session was through. Getting to the wall in a 24.31 scorcher, Zhang’s outing overtakes her previous PB of 24.83 from 2017. However, her mark here renders Zhang as China’s 2nd fastest performer all-time in the event, with her 24.31 ranking her only behind national record holder Liu Xiang with her standard of 24.03 from January 2020.
- Yu Hexin was the only male under 22 seconds tonight in the men’s 50m free heat, posting 21.93. That’s within striking distance of his own national record of 21.79 posted just this past September, making him the nation’s only other sub-22 50 freestyler besides the original Ning Zetao.
- Asian record holder Yan Zibei was the fastest in the men’s 100m breast, logging a night heats swim of 59.07, while 16-year-old Tang Qianting got it done for the women in 1:06.40.
- Bronze medalist in the 1500m free at last year’s World Championships, Wang Jianjiahe, was also in the water, producing a time of 4:03.02 as the top-seeded women’s 400m freestyler. That already outperforms her previous season-best and world-leading 4:04.45 from September’s Chinese National Championships.
- IM maestro Wang Shun leads the men’s 200m IM with a solid prelims outing of 1:58.24, leading the field by over a second and a half.