TIANJIN, China, October 14. NING Zetao, the latest burgeoning star out of China, cruised to victory in the 50-meter free with a 22.20 to close out the East Asian Games today.
His sizzling splash-and-dash came a day after winning the 100-meter free in near-Asian record fashion. Ning has been turning in strong performances all year long with this being his first international meet. Japan’s Yuki Kawachi took second in 22.47, while Hong Kong’s Geoffrey Cheah earned third in 22.60.
“I expected to create a new record. It is a pity I just missed it. But I am happy with the result since I had a good transition from the National Games to the East Asian Games. It’s my first international event. I hope I can compete in more high-level international events for China in the near future,” Ning said.
The most surprising part about Ning’s rise is that the world has heard about it, even though his swims all occurred in China. Previously, China had been less open about its internal results, but we have been reporting on Ning’s swims throughout the year.
Tang Yi captured the women’s 50-meter freestyle to open up the night for China. She raced to a 25.16, while Hong Kong had one of its strongest finished with Siobhan Bernadette Haughey taking second in 25.68. Korea’s Jae Young Lee placed third in 25.93.
Japan’s Kohei Kawamoto tracked down the men’s 100-meter fly title in 52.81, while China’s Shi Feng claimed second in 53.00. Japan’s Masayuki Umemoto rounded out the podium with a 53.03. Japan’s Mio Motegi dropped a 36.41 final 50 to overtake the field to win the women’s 200-meter breast in 2:25.06. China’s Shi Jinglin placed second in 2:25.86, while Japan’s Runa Imai took third in 2:26.03.
With Ye Shiwen opting out of the race, China’s Chen Xinyi dominated the women’s 400-meter IM in 4:40.24. Japan’s Sakiko Shimizu raced to second in 4:42.98, while Korea’s Seoyeong Kim earned third in 4:47.20. China’s Ha Sinan followed with a 2:09.43 to touch out Japan’s Kona Fujita (2:09.70) in the women’s 200-meter fly finale. Korea’s Hye Ra Choi managed to pick up third-place honors in the close finish with a 2:09.90.
China’s Yun Hao collected the final individual gold of the meet with a 3:49.81 in the men’s 400-meter free. Japan’s Naito Ehara (3:53.19) and Yugo Kawamata (3:54.73) finished second and third.
China’s Fu Yuanhui (1:00.57), Shi Jinglin (1:08.22), Lu Ying (58.33) and Qiu Yuhan (53.92) crushed the field in the women’s 400-meter medley relay with a 4:01.04. Japan’s Emi Moronuki (1:01.92), Mio Motegi (1:09.98), Yuka Kato (58.09) and Misato Yamazaki (55.47) finished second in 4:05.46. Hong Kong’s Stephanie Au (1:01.49), Yvette Kong (1:09.82), Hang Yu Sze (1:00.06) and Siobhan Bernadette Haughey (54.62) claimed third in 4:05.99.
China and Japan dominated the event as they usually do. China finished with 48 medals (26 G, 14 S, 8 B), while Japan owned 46 medals (11 G, 19 S, 16 B). Hong Kong beat out Korea for third on the medal chart with 10 (3 S, 7B), while Korea picked up 7 (1 S, 6 B). No other country earned a medal this week, even though North Korea, Macau, Mongolia, Taipei and Guam all sent representatives.