Source: China State Council Information Office
Liu Xiang broke the Asian record in the women’s 50-meter freestyle as Olympic champion Sun Yang claimed a comfortable victory in men’s 400 freestyle at the FINA Champions Swim Series in Beijing on Sunday.
China wrapped up four more golds on the second day for a total of nine gold medals from the two-day Champions Series.
Liu won the first gold for China on the second day of the Beijing leg, clocking 24.03 seconds for a new Asian record, improving on her performance on January 15 by 0.01. Ranomi Kromowidjojo, from the Netherlands, finished second in 24.38.
“I did not expect to swim the Asian record and win all the four events I took from the Shenzhen and Beijing legs. The results boost my confidence and I want to swim better at the Olympic Games,” said the 23-year-old.
In the men’s 400 free, Sun dominated the race after 100 meters and won in 3:44.98, slower than his winning time in Shenzhen (3:44.07). Danas Rapsys of Lithuania came third (3:49.62) behind Sun’s compatriot Ji Xinjie (3:47.04).
“Three titles in five days, I am pretty happy with my performance as I was smooth and steady in every race. I am also happy to swim with the best swimmers in the world, such as Danas and the others at the beginning of the year. It is the only international event we have before the Olympics, it is like a rehearsal for us,” said the Chinese captain.
Yu Jingyao brought the third gold for China in the women’s 100 breaststroke in 1:07.18, and Yang Junxuan broke the Chinese national record by winning women’s 200 freestyle in 1:54.98.
Japan’s Ryosuke Irie took victory in the men’s 200 backstroke in 1:55.55 while his compatriot and former world record holder Ippei Watanabe took the gold in the men’s 200 breaststroke in 2:08.40.
Hungarian Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu (2:08.56) seemed rusty as she was denied by her teammate Liliana Szilagyi (2:08.37) in the 200 butterfly with the latter losing in her favored 200 individual medley to Sydney Pickrem of Canada, who won in 2:09.26 compared to the Hungarian’s 2:09.93.
Dutch swimmer Kira Toussaint topped the women’s 100 backstroke in 59.64 and Matthew Temple of Australia snatched gold in the men’s 100 butterfly in 51.71, with American Michael Andrew winning the men’s 50 backstroke in 24.92.
About 70 top swimmers from 26 countries and regions competed in the FINA Champions Swim Series.