Liu Xiang, Ji Xinjie Close Chinese National Swimming Championships With Victories

Liu Xiang had a strong showing in the 50 free in Anshan City. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

The 2019 Chinese National Swimming Championships came to a close on Thursday afternoon in Anshan City as the nine day competition was a simulation of the 2020 Olympic Games environment. Finals were held in the morning to get the athletes an opportunity to experience what that will feel like next summer. Some of China’s best swimmers were not in attendance however, including Sun YangFu Yuanhui and Yan Zibei.

Men’s 50 Free

Yu Hexin won the 50 free final with a 22.69 as he won just ahead of Zhu Sunxiao (22.77). Yu was China’s lone representative in this event at the World Championships this summer, placing 15th in the semi finals with a 22.1. Zhu will have to be much quicker to be competitive next summer but is showing good promise if he is this close to someone of Yu’s caliber. Zhang Yanxin (23.07) finished in third.

Women’s 50 Free

Liu Xiang had an impressive showing in the women’s 50 free final as she swam a 24.89 to be the only swimmer to break 25 seconds in the final. Liu was the only representative for China in this event at the World Championships as she wound up on the outside looking in for the final, losing a swim-off for eighth place. Liu was faster in Korea as she was a 24.5.

Chen Xinyi, who is swimming after serving a doping suspension, placed second at 25.20 ahead of Wu Qingfeng (25.32).

Men’s 1500 Free

Ji Xinjie won his fourth gold medal of the meet, completing the 200-1500 sweep with a 15:25.14 in the 1500 final to close out the Chinese National Swimming Championships. It wasn’t easy for Ji, who only beat Meng Rui (15:25.79) by six tenths. China actually had no swimmers in the 1500 at the World Championships and Ji is looking to be a nice backup to Sun Yang. Sun has seemed to indicate he is done with the 1500 moving forward, so Ji could be the guy in the longer distances. Ji is stronger at the 400 free, but it remains to be seen if he has ruled out the 1500 from his lineup. Zhang Ziyang (15:31.09) finished in third to close out the meet.