Wu Peng Takes 5 Gold Medals, Leads Zhejiang to Team Title at Chinese Nationals -- December 16, 2004
TANGSHAN, China, December 16. WU Peng, touted two years ago as China's answer to Michael Phelps, finished a productive and promising national championship meet today by winning his fifth gold medal, more than any other swimmer here.
Wu had two titles in individual events and three from relays after he rallied with Zhejiang teammates to clinch the last event of the meet, the 4x100m medley relay title in 3:42.36, according to The People's Daily. Wu also took the 200m and 400m individual medley and anchored Zhejiang to win the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relay.
"Wu has competed in several tournaments since he came back from Athens and kept a rather good form, which set an example for all our swimmers," said Zhao Ge, head coach of the Chinese national team.
Wu finished sixth in the 200m butterfly in Athens before he took part in the Chinese University Games and Short Course World Championships.
"We thought swimmers should have a long rest after a major tournament, but Wu's performance tells a different story," said Zhao.
Wu's coach Zhu Zhigen said that it was the hard training that kept Wu in form.
"We resumed training earlier than most of the swimmers who went to Athens because Wu is a middle-distance swimmer, who needs more training than others," said Zhu, famous for his strenuous training scheme.
Zhejiang Province also took two women's golds on the last day of the championships: the 800m freestyle by Zheng Jing in 8:40.06 and the 100m free by Yang Yu in 55.96.
Shandong's Gao Chang, who set a new Asian record in the 50m backstroke Friday, eased to the women's 100m back victory in 1:01.72.
Zhang Xin, also from Shandong, claimed the women's 400m individual medley in 4:46.97 after she won the 200m breaststroke.
Beijing's Zhang Lin proved his prowess in middle distances by winning his second title here in the 400m freestyle in 3:53.68 following his 200m free triumph.
Xu Lei from Shanghai raced to win the men's 50m free in 23.16 and backstroke specialist Ouyang Kunpeng gave Jiangxi its second gold, winning the 100m back in 55.09 after he won the 50m back earlier.
Zhejiang finished a far-off winner with 14 golds. Shangdong stood second in the team medals table with five gold and both Shanghai and Guangdong have four. Beijing and the Chinese Navy each bagged three gold while Jiangsu and Jiangxi each have two. Hubei, Hebei and Guangzhou army split three between them.