Wang Jianjiahe Puts Up 8:20 800 Free, Liu Yaxin Hits 2:08 200 Back at Chinese Nationals

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Wang Jianjiahe - Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Wang Jianjiahe Puts Up 8:20 800 Free, Liu Yaxin Hits 2:08 200 Back at Chinese Nationals

The penultimate finals session from the 2021 Chinese Nationals concluded from Qingdao with four swimmers under the FINA A standard to pick up Olympic qualification for Tokyo this summer. Wang Jianjiahe won her second title of the week with an 8:20.38 in the 800 freestyle, adding to her earlier win in the 1500 as she sits second in the world rankings for 2021 behind only American Katie Ledecky (8:13.64). This will be Wang’s first Olympic appearance as she will be 19 by the time Tokyo comes around.

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Wang is the third fastest swimmer all-time with her 8:14 from 2019 as she will be in the hunt for an Olympic medal in both the 800 and 1500 freestyle come Tokyo in 79 days. She will be joined in Tokyo by 2017 Worlds silver medalist Li Bingjie (8:25.31), who is now tenth in the world. Li is off to her first Olympics in the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 free, achieving the FINA A standard in all four events, but it is unknown at the moment if she will race all four events in Tokyo.

Liu Yaxin picked up her second Olympic berth at age 21 with a 2:08.26 in the 200 back final, putting herself ninth in the world. Liu was seventh in Rio in the 200 back and will be back in Tokyo to fight for a podium finish. She will be joined in the 200 back by Peng Xuwei (2:09.75), who was second earlier in the week in the 100 back as she will be off to her first Games at age 18.

Sun Jiajun won the men’s 100 butterfly with a 51.97, but missed the FINA A standard at 51.96 as he may still pick up an Olympic spot to swim the 4×100 medley relay on the last day of competition. He won ahead of Hong Jinquan (52.37). Veteran butterflyer and Rio finalist Li Zhuhao was eighth at 55.55.

In semi-final action, Yu Hexin leads the men’s 50 free field at 22.21 as the A standard is a 22.01, while the team of Xu Jiayu (53.39), Yan Zibei (58.99), Zhang Yufei (57.21) and Yang Junxuan (54.51) cruised to a mixed medley win at 3:44.10, well off their world record of 3:38.41 set in late 2020.

Zhang Yufei is also leading the 50 free semis at 24.46 ahead of Wu Qingfeng (24.55) and 50 back world record holder Liu Xiang (24.59). All three are under the FINA A standard of 24.77 as Tokyo spots will be on the line tomorrow morning.

All swimmers that have achieved the FINA A standard this week:

Men:

  • Ji Xinjie – 200 Free
  • Qin Haiyang – 200 IM
  • Wang Shun – 200, 400 IM, 200 free
  • Xu Jiayu – 100, 200 Back
  • Yan Zibei – 100 Breast

Women:

  • Chen Jie – 100 Back
  • Chen Xinyi – 200 IM
  • Li Bingjie – 200, 400, 800, 1500 Free
  • Liu Yaxin – 200 Back
  • Peng Xuwei – 100, 200 Back
  • Tang Muhan – 400 Free
  • Tang Qianting – 100 Breast
  • Wang Jianjiahe – 800, 1500 Free
  • Wu Qingfeng – 100 Free
  • Yang Junxuan – 100, 200 Free
  • Yu Jingyao – 200 Breast
  • Yu Liyan – 200 Fly
  • Yu Yiting – 200, 400 IM
  • Zhang Yufei – 100, 200 Fly

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