RIZHAO, China, September 1. A day after a national record went on the board, the Chinese Long Course Nationals held in Rizhao featured another swift time. This time, Sun Yang jumped into the top three in the world in the men's 400 free.
Sun topped the men's 400 free in a personal-best 3:45.22 to jump into third in the world rankings, behind only Tae Hwan Park (3:44.73) and Zhang Lin (3:44.91). Sun trained under Grant Hackett's coach Dennis Cotterell in Australia earlier this year. Zhang, meanwhile, decided to compete in two off events (50, 100 free) after a long Pan Pacific Championships. Dai Jun took second in 3:49.26 in the 400 tonight, well off his 14th-ranked season-best of 3:48.46. Li Yunqi earned third-place honors in 3:51.80.
Li Zhesi captured the women's 50 free title in 24.92, moving her up to 12th in the world rankings. She'd previously stood 15th in the world with a 25.11 from April. Youth Olympic Game standout Tang Yi took second in 25.11 to move into Li's vacated spot of 16th in the world, while butterfly specialist Jiao Liaoyang finished third in 25.16 to jump into the top 20.
Chen Huijia, a member of China's world-record 400 medley relay, moved into 11th in the world in the women's 100 breast with a winning effort of 1:07.51. Chen touched out Ji Liping (1:07.53) in the process, as Ji took 12th in the world rankings. Sun Ye completed the top three in 1:07.97.
Zhou Jiawei earned the men's 50 fly crown in 23.81, jumping into a 21st-ranked tie with Ivan Lendjer and Jason Dunford. The win is Zhou's second of the meet after taking home the 100 fly in 52.34. Chen Weiwu (24.42) and Liu Jianping (24.75) rounded out the top three.
Sun Xiaolei won the men's 100 back with some outside smoke out of lane eight with a 55.29. Zhang Fenglin took second in 55.47 after setting the national record in the 200 back yesterday. Cheng Feiyi and He Jianbin shared the bronze medal with matching 55.64s.
Shanghai won the men's 400 free relay in 3:21.82, while Zhejiang took second in 3:21.94. Beijing finished third in 3:24.41, while a team from Jiangsu touched first in 3:20.99 but was disqualified for a quick relay start.
Beijing won the women's 800 free relay in 8:03.15, while Zhejiang and Shanghai tied for second with matching 8:05.06s.
Meanwhile, Olympic gold medalist Liu Zige confirmed that she will not be competing at the Asian Games. Instead, she will focus on the World Short Course Championships this year.
Special thanks to Christopher Chow for providing results.