NANJING, China, October 20. THREE months after managing just a three-medal haul at the World Championships in Montreal, China spent the last week proving it has not fallen off the international radar. Friday night, the 10th edition of the National Games came to a close with the Chinese Army claiming gold in the women’s 400 medley relay.
Behind Qi Hui on the breaststroke leg, the Chinese Army checked in with a time of 4:03.04. The victory was Qi’s fourth of the competition, complementing wins in the 200 and 400 individual medley events and the 200 breaststroke. She was joined as a victor on the last night of action by Zhang Lin in the men’s 1,500 freestyle (15:14.06) and Zhu Yingwen in the 50 free.
During the course of the National Games, the Chinese received a number of spectacular swims, including Asian-record times from Ouyang Kunpeng in the 100 and 200 backstroke races. Another Asian record was secured by Chen Zuo in the 100 freestyle. Meanwhile, Wu Peng set a national record in the 200 butterfly and Zhu Yingwen (54.03) highlighted a strong performance from the women in the 100 freestyle.
Quite simply, the Chinese left little doubt they’ll be among the premier nations at the 2008 Olympic Games, slated for Beijing.