GUANGZHOU, China, November 18. THE Asian Games came to a close with two particularly strong swims in the long course meter format in Guanzhou this evening.
China's Sun Yang derailed the Tae Hwan Park train in the men's 1500 free with an Asian record of 14:35.43 in the metric mile. Sun demolished his previously top-ranked effort of 14:47.46 from Chinese Nationals, and also far surpassed Zhang Lin's Asian record of 14:45.84. Sun's strong time finished second all-time behind only Grant Hackett's world record of 14:34.56 from the 2001 World Championships, and well ahead of Ous Mellouli's 14:37.28 from the 2009 World Championships to comprise the sub-14:40 club.
Park, who had already won the 100, 200 and 400 freestyle events, was going for an unprecedented 100-1500 sweep, but fell short with a second-place 15:01.72. No one, male or female, has ever won the 100-1500 freestyle events in a major international event. Zhang rounded out the podium tonight with a third-place 15:22.03.
China's Ye Shiwen, 14, became just the second swimmer in a textile suit to clear the old drug-tainted world record of 2:09.72 set by compatriot Wu Yanyan in 1997 in the women's 200 IM. Ye posted the top-ranked time in the world with a 2:09.37 to move into a tie for seventh on the all-time list. Only Alicia Coutts of Australia (2:09.70) has bested Wu former global mark in textile, and that time came at the Commonwealth Games last month. Ye's previous best had been a seventh-ranked season best of 2:10.32 set at Chinese Nationals in April.
China's Wang Qun touched second in 2:12.02, coming up short of her 12th-ranked season best of 2:11.26 set at Chinese Nationals. South Korea's Choi Hye Ra finished third overall in 2:12.85.
Japan's Junya Koga snatched the men's 50 back title in 25.08, coming up short of his fifth-ranked season best of 24.86 set at Pan Pacs in August. Teammate Ryosuke Irie earned second in 25.16, matching his 16th-ranked season best from Japanese Nationals in April. China's Cheng Feiyi took third in 25.30.
Japan's Naoya Tomita won the men's 200 breast crown in 2:10.36. He's been faster this year with a second-ranked 2:08.94 from the Japanese University meet in September. China's Xue Ruipeng tied with South Korea's Choi Kyuwoong for second with matching 2:12.25s.
Singapore's Li Tao snared the women's 50 fly victory in 26.10. She improved to eighth in the world rankings, up from her previous season best of 26.64 set in Singapore in June. Japan's Yuka Kato touched second in 26.27, while China's Lu Ying placed third in 26.29. Kato moved into a 12th-place tie in the rankings, while Lu improved to 14th overall.
In an exciting finish to an exciting meet, China touched out Japan, 3:34.01 to 3:34.10, in the men's 400 medley relay. China's team was comprised of Sun Xiaolei, Wang Shuai, Zhou Jiawei and Li Zhiwu, while Japan's team was Ryosuke Irie, Ryo Tateishi, Takuro Fujii and Rammaru Harada. Japan led until the final leg with Harada taking a 2:45.07 to 2:46.27 lead into the water. Li, however, tracked him down in the end.