Chinese National Games: Chen Qian Smashes Asian Record

JINAN, China, October 23. ANOTHER Asian record tumbled during long course competition held at the Chinese National Games in Jinan.

Chen Qian crushed the Asian record in the women's 800 free with a sterling time of 8:20.36. The 16-year-old shattered the previous record of 8:23.68 set by Japan's Sachiko Yamada in 2004, and also smashed the Chinese record of 8:24.37 set by Li Xuanxu at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Li Xuanxu finished second in 8:24.94, while Li Mo took third in 8:26.35.

Zhou Jiawei lowered the Chinese record in the men's 100 fly with a time of 51.24. That swim dropped his previous record of 51.36 set last year, but came up short of Kohei Kawamoto's Asian record of 51.00 set in September 2009. Shi Feng finished second in 51.98, while Chen Weiwu grabbed third in 52.38.

Sprint specialist Zhao Jing showed some range by claiming the women's 200 backstroke crown in 2:07.57. Bai Anqi placed second in 2:08.40 with Zhou Yanxin taking third in 2:09.01. Zhao already won the 100 backstroke earlier in the meet and is the world record holder in the 50 back.

Cai Li topped the men's splash-and-dash with a 22.5 in the 50 free finale. You Tianyu took second in 22.29 with Huang Shaohua finishing third in 22.31.

Special thanks to Swimming World Chinese correspondent Christopher Chow for the following results translation:

Women's 200 back:
(1) Zhao Jing (Wubei) 2:07.57
(2) Bai Anqi (Zhejiang) 2:08.40
(3) Zhou Yanxin (Shanghai) 2:09.01
(4) Gao Chang (Shandong) 2:09.43
Zhao just missed the national record of He Cihong (2:07.40). He's time is one of the two oldest Chinese records, along with Le Jingyi's 24.51 for the 50 free — both times were set on 11/9/1994, the last day of the controversial World Championships in Rome 15 years ago.

Men's 50 free:
(1) Cai Li (Zhejiang) 22.25
(2) You Tianyu (Jiangxu) 22.29
(3) Huang Shaohua (Guangxi) 22.31
Asian record (21.95 from August 2009) holder Shi Runqiang was 5th in 22.43.

Men's 100 fly:
(1) Zhou Jiawei (Guangdong) 51.24 (50m split: 24.08)
(national record, old record 51.36 by Zhou Jiawei in September 2008 in Changshu, China)
(2) Shen Feng (Shanghai) 51.98
(3) Chen Weiwu (Shandong) 52.38

Women's 800 free:
(1) Chen Qian (Shandong) 8:20.36 (splits by 200m: 2:04.17, 4:10.94, 6:16.25, 8:20.36)
(Asian record, old record 8:23.68 by Sachiko Yamada of Japan in Tokyo, April 2004)
(2) Li Xuanxu (Wunan) 8:24.95
(3) Li Mo (Shandong) 8:26.15
Silver medalist Li Xuanxu was the original national record holder (8:24.37 from the Beijing Olympics semi-finals.)

Among the several semifinals, the women's 50 free was particularly noteworthy: there were three sub-25 swims, by Yang Li (24.90), Pang Jiaying (24.92) and Zhu Yingwen (24.98). More known as a backstroker, Yang had only managed around 25.6 in the 50 free in 2007-08, but surprised everyone in leading all qualifiers in the morning heats with a 24.87. Yang broke the 50 back WR with a 28.09 at the World Military Games in Hyderabad, India in October 2007, but failed to make the team for the Beijing Olympics. That 28.09 remains the fastest women's 50 back swum in a textile suit. The current WR is more than 1 second faster at 27.06, courtesy of Zhao Jing at the 2009 Worlds.

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