China Sets Asian Record in 400 Free Relay to Close Night

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

INCHEON, South Korea, September 24. Kosuke Hagino and Shen Duo both stood tall with their fourth gold medals of the Asian Games amidst a sea of fast swimming this evening in Incheon, that included an Asian record by China in the men’s 400 free relay.

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Scheduled Events

  • Men’s 100 fly
  • Women’s 200 free
  • Men’s 100 breast
  • Women’s 200 fly
  • Men’s 400 IM
  • Women’s 100 back
  • Men’s 400 free relay

Medal Standings

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Men’s 100 fly

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/ProSwimVisuals.com

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/ProSwimVisuals.com

Singapore’s Joseph Schooling lit up the pool to start the night with a 51.76.  That performance cleared the previous meet record of 51.83 set by China’s Zhou Jiawei back in 2010, and nearly trumped Schooling’s Singapore record of 51.69 from the Commonwealth Games.  That should definitely get the attention of his fellow Texas Longhorns back in the U.S.  It’s also Singapore’s first gold medal at the Asian Games since 1982 when Ang Peng Siong won the 100 free.

China’s Li Zhuhao finished close behind with a second-place 51.91 to move to 17th in the world rankings, while Japan’s Hirofumi Ikebata took home bronze in 52.08. Li, just 15, downed the FINA World Junior Record of 52.52 set by Daniel Bell of New Zealand in 2008.

Japan’s Takuro Fujii (52.09), China’s Zhang Qibin (52.77), South Korea’s Gyucheol Chang (53.17), Indonesia’s Glenn Sutanto (53.79) and Hong Kong’s Geoffrey Cheah (53.86) also put up times in the finale.

Top Splits:

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Women’s 200 free

Photo Courtesy: Xinhua/Ding Xu

Photo Courtesy: Xinhua/Ding Xu

Although the likes of Kosuke Hagino, Sun Yang and Tae Hwan Park have earned the lion’s share of the top billing this week, China’s Shen Duo is quietly turning in an MVP effort on the women’s side of the equation.  With a 1:57.66 in the 200-meter freestyle finale, Shen picked up her fourth gold medal of the meet.  She’s already won the women’s 100 free and been part of China’s victories in both the women’s 400 free and 800 free relays, and she’s likely going to win the 50 free as well for a fifth gold when all is said and done.

Swimming World had an exclusive conversation with her age group coach Ron Turner earlier this week to get some insight on the swimmer who will undoubtedly vault to legendary status within Chinese swimming with that fifth gold.

Shen has actually been much faster this year with an eighth-ranked 1:56.12 at the Youth Olympics, where she also ran off multiple gold medals as well.  She just didn’t need that level of speed tonight to win.

Japan’s Chihiro Igarashi took second in 1:59.13 with China’s Tang Yi placing third in 1:59.34.  Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey just missed the podium with a fourth-place 1:59.66.

Japan’s Yasuko Miyamoto (2:00.39), Thailand’s Natthanan Junkrajang (2:02.05), Hong Kong’s Camille Cheng (2:02.06) and South Korea’s Junghye Kim (2:03.54) turned in the rest of the championship finale finishes.

Top Splits:

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Men’s 100 breast

In what has been a breakout meet thus far, Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan won his second breaststroke gold medal of the meet.  After already dropping six seconds off his national record in the 200 breast down to the 2:07 range to stun the crowd, Balandin was at it again in the 100 as he took down the Games record as well as the Kazakhstani mark.

Balandin raced his way to victory in 59.92 tonight, the first sub-1:00 time in Games history breaking the record of 1:00.38 set by Ryo Tateishi at the 2010 edition in Guangzhou, China.  That swim also downed Vlad Polyakov’s national mark of 1:00.65 from 2009 as Balandin continues to make his mark. Balandin now stands 12th in the world this year.

Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki, who posted a seventh-ranked 59.62 at the Pan Pacific Championships, could not replicate that speed with a silver-winning 1:00.23, while China’s Li Xiang finished third in 1:00.91.

Japan’s Naoya Tomita (1:01.25), China’s Mao Feilian (1:01.34), South Korea’s Kyuwoong Choi (1:01.60), Uzbekistan’s Vladislav Mustafin (1:02.24) and South Korea’s Janghun Ju (1:02.44) closed out the rest of the heat.

Top Splits:

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Women’s 200 fly

Aug 1, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Liuyang Jiao (CHN) celebrates with her gold medal after winning the women's 200m butterfly finals during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY

China’s Jiao Liuyang battled Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi until the end of the women’s 200-meter fly before taking the title, 2:07.56 to 2:08.04, with a final surge to win.  That swim came up just short of Jiao’s season best of 2:07.28 from Chinese Nationals, while Hoshi could not come close to her second-ranked 2:05.98 from Japanese Nationals. That’s Jiao’s second straight win in the event, having set the Games record in 2010 with a 2:05.79.

Japan’s Miyu Nakano chased down bronze in the finale with a time of 2:09.18, while world-record holder Liu Zige missed the podium with a fourth-place 2:10.01.

South Korea’s Sehyeon An (2:10.14), Singapore’s Ting Wen Quah (2:14.26), Thailand’s Patarawadee Kittiya (2:18.19) and Thailand’s Sutasinee Pankaew (2:18.96) also competed tonight.

Top Splits:

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Men’s 400 IM

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Trailing the lead pack by nearly a second at the 300-meter mark, Japan’s Kosuke Hagino scorched the competition in the freestyle leg with a 28.84 and 26.91 set of splits to win the men’s distance medley event by more than two seconds with a Games-record time of 4:07.75.  That swim smashed Yuya Horihata’s record of 4:13.35 from the 2010 edition, and nearly matched Hagino’s Asian record of 4:07.61 from last year.

No one else has even been close to Hagino’s time this year, as he’s well ahead of the second-ranked Tyler Clary, who posted a 4:09.03 in the event at the Pan Pacific Championships earlier this summer. That’s Hagino’s fourth gold medal this week, having won the 200 free, 200 IM and 800 free relay already.  He also has a silver in the 400 free and a bronze in the 100 back to run his medal tally to six overall.  As he has stated several times previously, his goal is to become the Japanese Michael Phelps, which means he wants to challenge for eight golds at a major competition.

China’s Yang Zhixian placed second in 4:10.18 to jump to fourth in the world rankings, while Japan’s Daiya Seto took third in 4:10.39, just off his fifth-ranked 4:10.21 from the Japan Open earlier this year.

China’s Huang Chaosheng (4:10.49), Taipei’s Ren Hau Wen (4:24.02), South Korea’s Wonyong Jung (4:24.12), Vietnam’s Duy Khoi Tran (4:24.54) and Taipei’s Fu Yu Hsiao (4:29.29) comprised the other finishers in the finale.

Top Splits:

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Women’s 100 back

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

China’s Fu Yuanhui claimed her second gold medal of the meet with a 59.95 to top the 100 back finale.  That’s about half-a-second off her sixth-ranked time of 59.59 from the Chinese Nationals this year, but was good enough for the win.

Yekaterina Rudenko of Kazakhstan placed second in 1:00.61 with China’s Wang Xueer taking bronze with a time of 1:01.09.

Japan’s Shiho Sakai (1:01.35), Japan’s Miyuki Takemura (1:01.70), Hong Kong’s Stephanie Au (1:02.21), Hong Kong’s Claudia Lau (1:02.78) and South Korea’s Dalin Lee (1:02.83) also put up times.

Top Splits:

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Men’s 400 free relay

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

China’s foursome of Yu Hexin, Lin Yongqing, Sun Yang and Ning Zetao set the Asian record with a blistering time of 3:13.47.  That performance downed the previous continental standard of 3:14.73 set by Japan at the 2009 East Asian Games in Hong Kong.  Japan’s squad of Shinri Shiroura, Rammaru Harada, Takuro Fujii and Katsumi Nakamura took second in 3:14.38 to lower the Japanese record, while South Korea’s Sungkyum Kim, Junehyuck Yang, Kiwoong Nam and Tae Hean Park placed third in 3:18.44.

Hong Kong (3:22.45), Taipei (3:23.89), Uzbekistan (3:23.95), India (3:25.94) and Indonesia (3:27.54) turned in the other championship heat swims.

China’s Splits: 3:13.47

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Japan’s Splits: 3:14.38

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Author: Jason Marsteller

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Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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