Source: China State Council Information Office
Three-time Olympic champion Sun Yang delighted the home fans as he led the Chinese swimmers to five gold medals on the first day of the FINA Champion Swim Series on Saturday.
Sun stormed a time of one minute and 45.55 seconds to win the men’s 200m freestyle, beating his arch-rival Danas Rapsys of Lithuania in 1:45.74 and Dominik Kozma of Hungary in 1:48.98.
“I did not think it as a revenge since I lost to Danas in Shenzhen by 0.03 second. It is a good competition with the strongest rivals in the world. To me, Danas is very tough and also a respected friend,” said Sun who took a gold in 400m freestyle and a silver in 200m freestyle in Shenzhen leg held on Jan 14-15. He will compete 400m freestyle on Sunday.
Two-time world champion Xu Jiayu tied for first place with his long-time idol Ryosuke Irie of Japan in 52.97 while Matt Grever of the United States finished third in 53.71.
“It is a great honor to tie Irie for the title. I feel like to compete in the Asian Games. I am a little bit tired but faster than I did in Shenzhen. It is just a test of my winter training,” Xu said.
World record holder Liu Xiang proved her reputation in the women’s 50m backstroke in 27.58, Yu Jingyao continued her winning streak in the women’s 200m breaststroke in 2:24.52 and Yan Zibei led the men’s 100m breaststroke in 58.83.
World champion Daiya Sato was the only double winner on Saturday as he claimed victories in the men’s 200m butterfly in a Japanese national record time of 1:52.53 and the 200m individual medley on 1:55.55.
“I am surprised by my 200m fly because I was not in my best form. But the time boosts my confidence. It is a great start for me,” Sato said.
In other women’s events, Katinka Hosszu of Hungary snatched the gold in the 200m backstroke, Ajna Kesely of Hungary topped the 400m freestyle in 4:09.10, Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong, China was the fastest in the 100m freestyle in 53.33, and Molly Hannis of the United States beat Jamaican veteran Alia Atkinson in the 50m breaststroke.
On the men’s side, World Cup overall winner Vladimir Morozov of Russia was the king in the 50m freestyle with a time of 21.55 seconds, and Nicholas Santos of Brazil won the 50m butterfly in 22.95.
With about 70 top swimmers from 26 countries and regions, the FINA Champions Swim Series will finish the second leg in Beijing on Jan. 19.