PHOENIX, Arizona, April 5. AT the Chinese Long Course Nationals, Sun Yang continued to post big times, which is part of China's Olympic selection process. Reigning women's 200 fly Olympic gold medalist Liu Zige appears to be on the outside looking in to defend her championship after a third-place finish.
Sun claimed the men's 200 free title in the finale with a 1:46.05, easily making the Olympic squad in the event and moving to fourth in the world in the process. Only Yannick Agnel (1:44.42), Michael Phelps (1:45.69) and Takeshi Matsuda (1:45.96) have been faster this year. Hao Yun placed second with a 1:47.08 for 10th in the world, while Li Yunqi picked up third 1:48.17.
Zhang Lin, who prior to Sun Yang's breakthrough distance freestyle this past year had been China's golden child with a silver medal in the men's 400 free at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, missed out on another chance to represent his native land by missing the men's 200 free finale.
Early on in the meet, Zhang also missed the 400 free Olympic berth with a fourth-place finish. Today, he wound up 10th overall in the 200 free with a 1:49.89 to miss the finale. His last chance to make the team will be in the men's 1500 free this weekend.
The local media has been all over Zhang's tribulations at this meet, questioning whether his training in the U.S. with the Trojan Swim Club has adversely impacted his ability in the water.
In an exciting finish, Jiao Liuyang clipped Gong Jie, 2:05.18 to 2:05.38, in the women's 200 fly as the two moved to second and third in the world behind Natsumi Hoshi's 2:04.69 from Japan this week. Both are now in line for Olympic berths, as reigning Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder Liu Zige fell to a surprising third-place finish with a 2:07.37. China, however, has a much longer selection process than just a single meet, and could potentially find a way to put Liu on the team going forward. If not, the reigning champion in the event will be watching Olympic prelims from the sidelines.
In Tokyo, Japan, the Japan Swim Meet is now past its midway mark and swimmers are still vying for the 2012 London Olympic roster spots. A textile best, national record and world-leading time all went up on the scoreboard in a blistering fast evening of racing.
According to Swimming World Japanese correspondent Hideki Mochizuki, Japan is utilizing a different qualifying standard instead of the FINA A and B cut times. This much-faster cut will be applied by Japan in a similar fashion to the FINA A cut, where Japan will only select two swimmers if they both clock a faster time than the cut.
In the Men's 100 free the Cut is 48.28
No Olympians will be coming out of the men's 100 free if Japan sticks to its guns regarding its internal Olympic cuts, including its relay add-up of 3:15.90 to nominate a men's 400 free relay. Takuro Fujii topped the event in 49.20, missing the Japanese cut of 48.28 and the FINA A cut of 48.82. However, he did clear the FINA B cut of 50.53.
In the Women's 100 free the Cut is 54.07
Haruka Ueda secured an individual swim at the 2012 London Olympics with a national record time of 54.00. The effort bested the national record of 54.33 set by Misaki Yamaguchi at the 2009 Japanese National Sports Festival, and also clipped the surprisingly difficult Japanese Olympic cut of 54.07.
In the Men's 200 fly the Cut is 1:55.65
Takeshi Matsuda played it safe making sure he earned a spot on the Olympic roster with a world-leading time of 1:54.01. That time bested his previous pacesetter of 1:54.19, but was well short of his national record of 1:52.97 from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Overall, he tied himself for the 24th-fastest time ever in the event, matching his performance from the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai.
in the Men's 200 breaststroke the Cut is 2:10.27
Kosuke Kitajima clocked a jaw-dropping textile best time of 2:08.00 in the distance breaststroke to guarantee himself his second individual swim at the 2012 London Olympics. The performance surpassed Naoya Tomita's textile best of 2:08.25 set last year in Hamamatsu, Japan, and is the 10th fastest swim ever. Kitajima is only half-a-second off his Japanese record of 2:07.51. He is now in line to go back-to-back-to-BACK in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events in London after winning the Olympic gold at both the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Remarkably, Ryo Tateishi also surpassed the textile best in the event with a second-place time of 2:08.17 to also make the Olympic squad. He nearly closed the distance on Kitajima, who had less than a second lead at the halfway mark. Tateishi's time bested his lifetime best of 2:08.25, and moved him into sole possession of seventh all time in the event.
In potentially devastating Olympic news, Greece, the founding nation of the Olympic Games, might not be able to afford to send their Olympic squad to London this summer. Details have not been released, but insiders say that if an agreement is not reached within the government then Greece will have to withdraw their country from participating.
In other news, the Australian Age Championships begin this Monday or Sunday evening for the US. Bronte Cambell, Cameron McEvoy and Tessa Wallace are a few of the Olympic youngsters that will hit the water next week. This meet will also double as selection events for the 2012 Junior Pan Pacific Championships.
That is it for today's Streamlined News. Thanks for watching and have a great weekend.