Sun Yang Scorches 1500 Free For Win in China

HUANGSHAN, China, September 26. SUN Yang shook off a media firestorm regarding now debunked rumors that he would no longer be able to train with Denis Cotterell in Australia en route to trouncing the competition in the men's 1500 free at the Chinese Long Course Nationals held in Huangshan.

Sun, the world-record holder in the men's 1500 free with an astonishing 14:31.02 from the London Games this summer, crushed his competition in the event in Huangshan with a 14:50.30. That is the 11th fastest time of the year this year, giving Sun four of the top 11 times in 2012. His three other times were his world record and his prelims (14:43.25) times from the Olympics and a 14:42.30 from the Chinese Nationals held in April.

Sun downed Hao Yun in the process. Hao placed second in 15:20.35, shortly after being quoted as the person to start the rumor that Australia had banned Denis Cotterell from coaching Chinese swimmers, including Sun. Notably, Wang Kecheng turned in a third-place 15:22.33.

Zhang Fenglin dominated the men's 200 back with a 1:56.36. That swim fell just a bit short of his fifth-ranked time of 1:55.59 from the Olympics, but is among the top times in the world this year. Xu Jiayu touched second in 1:59.26, while Diao Qigong earned third in 2:00.50.

Liu Xiang raced to victory in the women's 50 back with a time of 28.19, jumping to 12th in the world this year. Fu Yuanhui, already ranked fifth in the world with a 27.95 from Chinese Nationals in April, took second in 28.39. Cheng Haifua rounded out the top three with a 28.52.

Yin Fan claimed the women's 50 free crown in 25.26, while Xu Wen posted a second-place 25.45. Zhang Ying took third in 25.49, while Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder Ye Shiwen earned fourth with a 25.74 as she focuses in off events this week in Huangshan. Ye is best known for her stunning meet at the London Olympics this summer, where she won gold in the 200 and 400 IM, including setting a world record in the distance medley.

In Ye's absence in the women's 200 IM, Zhang Wenqing took home the gold with a 2:13.24. Chen Yanyi finished just behind with a second-place 2:13.98, while Zhou Min earned third in 2:14.66.

Fan Rong touched out Shi Jinglin in the women's 200 breast, 2:28.33 to 2:28.53, in what proved to be an exciting finish. Liu Hangjiao placed third in 2:29.02, while Ye, continuing to swim off events, took eighth overall in the distance breaststroke event with a 2:36.00.

Olympic silver medalist Lu Ying coasted to a win in her pet event of the women's 100 fly. She charted a 58.78 for the gold medal here in Huangshan. Lu's top time this year came at the London Olympics, where her silver-winning 56.87 ranked her fourth in the world this year. Liu Lan finished second in Huangshan with a 59.32, while Gong Jie touched third in 59.65.

Liu Zhaochen claimed the men's 100 freestyle title in 50.09, while Yu Hexin took second in 50.14. Zhong Qiushi picked up third-place honors in 50.20. Wang Shuai snared the men's 50 breast crown in 27.91, while Li Xiayan touched second in 28.01. Ma Xiang placed third overall with a 28.26.

Yang Zhixian hit the wall in 1:58.40 to capture the men's 200 fly title, while Zuo Zhiqiao earned second in 2:00.23. Liu Yu wound up third in 2:00.33. Shao Yiwen raced to a 1:58.16 to give her the women's 200 free triumph, while Shen Duo finished just behind with a 1:58.23. Cao Yue also cleared 1:59 for a third-place time of 1:58.86.

In relay action, Beijing won the women's 400 free relay in 3:43.63, while Guangdong took second in 3:44.48. Jiangsu finished third in 3:45.25. Guangdong then won the men's 400 medley relay in 3:38.47. Beijing took second in 3:41.45, while Shanghai placed third in 3:43.50.

Special thanks to correspondent Christopher Chow for contributing to this report.

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