Wang Shun Hits 1:56 200 IM; Zhang Yufei Swims Another 2:05 200 Fly at China Swim Series

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Wang Shun - Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

The China Swim Series continued Friday to ring in the new year as many of China’s best were on hand to start off the Olympic year.

The best swim of the day came from Zhang Yufei in the 200 butterfly, who improved her 200 butterfly best time with a 2:05.49 from her 2:05.7 in the heats. That swim put her with the fastest time in the world in the last 12 months, surpassing Japan’s Suzuka Hasegawa (2:05.62). She finished ahead of Zhang Yifan (2:08.51) who was a 2:06 earlier this year.

World Rankings Women’s 200 Butterfly

  1. 2:05.49, Zhang Yufei, CHN
  2. 2:05.62, Suzuka Hasegawa, JPN
  3. 2:06.11, Hali Flickinger, USA
  4. 2:06.39, Regan Smith, USA
  5. 2:06.83, Yu Liyan, CHN
  6. 2:06.99, Zhang Yifan, CHN
  7. 2:07.62, Laura Stephens, GBR
  8. 2:07.68, Katinka Hosszu, HUN

Wang Shun, who won bronze in the 200 IM at the 2016 Olympics, swam a 1:56.40 in the first night of finals, just off his 1:56.2 from October of this year where he put up the second fastest time in the world for 2020. Japan’s Daiya Seto still leads the 2020 world rankings from his 1:55 in January. Qin Haiyang, who made the final at the 2017 Worlds, was second at 1:59.94.

Wang Jianjiahe (no relation) took the women’s 400 free win at 4:05.13, off her 4:03 from the heats, as she had a tight race with Tang Muhan (4:05.68), who improved on her season best of 4:06 from late September. Tang, just 17, was ranked third in the world for 2020 in the 400 freestyle behind Wang and American Katie Ledecky.

Another rising star, 16-year-old Tang Qianting won the women’s 100 breast at 1:06.87 ahead of Olympian Yu Jingyao (1:07.08). Tang trains with Zheng Shan, who also trains Worlds medalist Yan Zibei and she improved her lifetime best from a 1:08 to a 1:06. Yan won the men’s 100 breaststroke race at 59.59 ahead of Sun Jiajun (1:00.11).

In the 50 free, Zhang Yufei was beat to the wall by 50 back world record holder Liu Xiang, who touched first at 24.62 to Zhang’s 24.65, while Yu Hexin won the men’s race at 22.00.

Other winners on the first night of finals were Wang Zhou in the 200 butterfly (1:58.30), Ji Xinjie in the 400 freestyle (3:47.26) and Yu Yiting in the 200 IM (2:11.30).

Ji is also leading the heats of the 200 freestyle at 1:48.29 while Zhang swam a 56.18 to lead the heats in the 100 butterfly. Qin Haiyang is the top seed in the 200 breaststroke at 2:10.96 while Yu Jingyao is leading the women’s heats at 2:23.91.

Two-time reigning world champ Xu Jiayu is leading the men’s 100 back heats at 53.07 while reigning Olympic bronze medalist Fu Yuanhui is leading the women’s race at 59.58. Yang Junxuan is on top of the women’s 200 free field at 1:56.27 while Shen Jiahao is leading the men’s 100 butterfly field at 53.19.

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