Day five of the 2016 Chinese Nationals began with a tight women’s 100-meter free field. The top three swimmers all posted times within .01 seconds of each other. Sun Meichen got her hand to the wall first, stopping the clock at a 55.07. Not to be left behind Wu Yue and Yi Tang delivered matching 55.08’s from heats 14 and 15 respectively.
Xu Jiayu led the competition throughout prelims of the men’s 200-meter backstroke, dashing ahead of the competition to stop the clock at 1:57.98. Jiayu’s time falls within the top 20 of the world rankings for 2016 but is just shy of his sixth-place ranking of 1:57.21 from the Aquatic Super Series in Perth, Australia.
The field tightened behind Jiayu as He Jian posted a 2:01.89 to return as the second-place seed, while Wang Yu was third in prelims with a 2:02.28. The top three swimmers were all out of the final prelims heat.
The women’s 200-meter breaststroke was led by He Yun of the Shanxi Province. Yun delivered a final time of 2:31.56 to earn the top spot going into tonight’s session. The field only narrowed behind her as Jing Lin (2:32.14), Du Jia Yi (2:32.73), and Yu Jing Yao (2:32.76) all finished within .62 seconds of each other.
Wang Shun grabbed the top seed in the men’s 200-meter IM with a time of 2:03.20 to be one of only two athletes under the 2:04-mark. Hu Yixuan turned in a 2:04.67 from heat 10 to finish third, while the rest of the semi-finals returners posted times varying between 2:05 and 2:06.