Sun Yang bags first gold at Chinese Swimming Championships



On his first meet of the season, Olympic and world champion Sun Yang claimed a comfortable victory in the men's 200 meter freestyle at the Chinese National Swimming Championships here on Friday.

Sun led the way and finished with a time of 1:46.07 which could place him fifth in the current world rankings. Ji Xinjie of Shandong took the silver in 1:46.80 and Wang Shun from Zhejiang came to third with a time of 1:47.21.

"After the World Championships and the China National Games last year, I took a long vacation and returned to the water at the end of year. It was my hope that I could regain my form in three months," Sun said.

Sun will compete in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1,500m freestyle in the six-day competition. "I want to take the national championships as preparation for the Asian Games because the two meets have the same competition schedule," Sun said.

World champion Xu Jiayu stormed to a world leading time of 52.72 in the men's 100m backstroke, beating teammates Li Guangyuan and Wang Guanbin.

"I improved my strength in training and I wanted to test myself in the competition. I feel happy with the time," said Xu who won China's first men's backstroke world title in the World Swimming Championships last year.

Peng Xuwei also won the women's 200m backstroke by clocking a time of 2:07.27.

Yu Jingyao from Beijing was a shock winner in the women's 100m breaststroke, edging out veteran Shi Jinglin.

Wang Jianjiahe touched home with a time of 15:53.01 in the women's 1,500m freestyle, 0.14 shy of the national and Asian record which was held by world bronze medalist Li Bingjie. Li, who led in first 1000 meters, finished second.

Li Zhuhao of Zhejiang topped the men's 200m butterfly in a time of 1:55.66 while Team Beijing was the fastest in the women's 4X100m freestyle relay with a time of 3:42.77.

A total of 466 swimmers from 26 teams compete in the national meet which serves as the qualification tournament for the Asian Games.