MACAU, November 4. ALTHOUGH the year is drawing to a close, there continues to be swift swimming around the globe, evident in the results from the East Asia Games in Macau. Through the first two days of action, China and Japan have dominated the festivities with the highlight swim belonging to China’s Zhang Lin in the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle.
In a down-to-the-wire race with South Korea’s Taehwan Park, Zhang prevailed in the metric mile with a mark of 15:00.27, good for an Asian record. By almost cracking the 15-minute barrier, Zhang narrowly finished ahead of Park, who was timed in 15:00.32, also under the old Asian record. The former standard of 15:09.52 was set by Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda last year. Zhang also won the 200 free with a performance of 1:48.54.
The 50 fly races also featured Asian records, as China’s Zhou Jiawei turned in a swim of 23.98 on the male side and China’s Xu Yanwei went 26.63 in the women’s race, slightly quicker than the 26.71 of Zhou Yafei. Meanwhile, China’s Ouyang Kunpeng was the victor in the men’s 200 backstroke with a stellar time of 1:58.24 and Gao Chang was the winner in the women’s 50 back when she covered the distance in 28.52. The Japanese tandem of Aya Terakawa and Takami Igarashi shared gold in the women’s 200 backstroke (2:12.15).
A multiple-time world champion and Olympic medalist, China’s Luo Xuejuan won the 50 breast in 31.67 and was joined as a gold medalist by countrywomen Zhao Jing in the 200 individual medley (2:16.00) and Li Jie in the 200 butterfly (2:10.26). Pang Jiaying also earned a triumph for China when she blasted through the women’s 100 free in 54.65.
Other champions from the first two days of competition were China’s Zeng Qiliang in the men’s 100 breaststroke (1:02.34), Japan’s Yuta Shoji in the men’s 200 I.M. (2:02.56) and Matsuda in the men’s 800 freestyle (8:03.19).