Wang Shun Swims Faster Than His World Championships Time in 200 IM at Chinese Nationals

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Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Wang Shun Nears Season Best in 200 IM at Chinese Nationals

A day after the first swimming world record of 2020 fell, the Chinese National Championships continued from Qingdao as the reigning Olympic bronze medalist in the 200 IM, Wang Shun, highlighted the night. Wang took the 200 IM final with a solid 1:56.83, which was faster than what he swam at the 2019 World Championships, when he finished sixth at 1:56.97.

Wang is one of the top IM’ers in the world, having been ranked second in the world this year behind Japanese rival Daiya Seto in the 200 IM. Wang was a 1:56.81 in January, so the fact that he is right on his swims from that meet is assuring that he is moving in the right direction ahead of next year’s Olympic Games.

In the women’s race, Ye Shiwen, who won the silver at last year’s Worlds in the 200 IM, cruised to a 2:11.37, which was a little off her 2:08 from 2019, but Ye remains one of the favorites for a medal in Tokyo after she has revived her career. In 2012 at the meager age of 16, she took double gold at the London Games, setting a world record in the 400 IM that would last four years. Ye had some trouble regaining that form in the following years but won two medals at the 2019 Worlds, and also made an appearance in the final of the 200 breaststroke, to regain her place among the best in the world.

In the women’s 200 butterfly, Zhang Yifan took the win at 2:06.99, which is the third fastest time in the world this year behind the world leading swim of Hali Flickinger of the United States at 2:06.11. Zhang led a quick field as Yu Liyan finished in second at 2:08.08, which according to FINA’s world rankings, would put her sixth in the world for the bizarre year of 2020.

The men’s 1500 concluded the finals with Zhang Ziyang claiming the win at 15:13.37. Zhang, who has spent some time training in California, won ahead of Hu Jia (15:18.46), as Zhang is now 17th in the world rankings.

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