Wang & Wang At The Double As China Shows More Aquatic Military Might In Wuhan

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Wang Jianjiahe - Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

China’s Military Might At Wuhan Games Continues Apace

Wang Jianjiahe turned 17 this year and today raced to her second gold of the week at the 7th Military Games in Wuhan: a 15:57.50 triumph over 1500m freestyle followed a 4:04 victory in the 400m two days ago as the event got underway.

Wang was a speed apart, the silver to Slovenia’s Tjasa Oder, on 16:25.00, the bronze to Brazil’s Vivianne Jungblut on 16:29.37.

A day after claiming gold in the 200m medley, Wang Shun added the 400m medley crown in a championship record of 4:10.13, a touch shy of the 4:09.10 best he clocked as a 19-year-old six years ago.

Wang, who finished 23rd in the 400m medley at World titles in Gwangju in 4:23, had the same hard battle with teammate Qin Haiyang as that which unfolded in the 200m yesterday. Qin took silver once more, his 4:10.41 finish marking a massive personal best. Poland’s David Szwedzki finished third in a distant 4:18.35.

Yang Junxuan, 17 this year and already in the military (in much of the world, official links with the military are permitted from 17 with parental consent or 18 without parental consent) cracked 54sec for the first time over 100m freestyle when she claimed the crown in 53.93, a championship record.

The times make the teenager the ninth Chinese swimmer to race inside 54sec since the World record was set at 54.01 in 1994 by Le Jingyi, whose coach Zhou Ming was banned for eight years after the count of positive doping tests among his personal charges on the national team stretched into double digits in 1998.

Two teenagers among the nine to have swum faster than Le, all in the past decade, have tested positive and been handed suspensions.In Wuhan today, the silver went to Zhu Menghui, champion in the 50m on day 1, in 53.98, not far from her 2017 best of 53.40 clocked at the All-China Games and a match of the time she swam in semi-finals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The bronze went to France’s Charlotte Bonnet in 54.60, well down on her career high of 52.74 at a time of training and preparation for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

It was gold for China again in the men’s 200m freestyle, Ji Xinjie on 1:46.54, a championship record .7sec down on his best. And that best is the 25th best performance in China: the top 24 belong to Sun Yang, who next month will defend himself in a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing requested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in challenge to a FINA Doping Panel decision to let the swimmer off without penalty despite a series of warnings and cautions that including a conclusion that the survival of Sun’s career had been “a close-run thing” after an acrimonious four-hour argument with out-of-competition testers last year.

Silver over 200m in Wuhan today went to Fernando Scheffer, in 1:47.32, the bronze to Poland’s Kacper Majchrzak in 1:47.51.

It was China gold number three in the women’s 100m backstroke, Chen Jie on a championship record of 1:00.14, an indication that standards at the Games are a peg down on world-class global times in many events.

Liu Yaxin made it a China 1-2 in 1:01.72, the bronze to Russia’s Daria Ustinova, who tested positive in her teens, on 1:02.01.Next up came two events that did not tho China’s way.

After 27.03 in heats, Brazil’s Joao Gomes, another who has served a suspension for doping, took the title in 27.07 ahead of China’s Yan Zibei, on 27.12, the bronze to Italy’s Andrea Toniato in 28.13.

The men’s 100m butterfly title went to Russia’s Daniil Pakhomov in 52.66. Russia claimed a 1-2 finish courtesy of 50m winner of yesterday, Oleg Kostin, on 52.78, Poland’s Konrad Czerniak on 52.91 for bronze, China’s Li Zhuhao locked out in 52.93.

The rest of the gold count went into the Chinese treasury, Wang’s win the in 1500m followed by victory for Zhang Yuhan, on 2:10.68 in the 200m butterfly. The podium was completed by Russia’s Svetlana Chimrova in 2:11.09 and China’s 100m winner, Zhang Yufei, on 2:12.59.

The curtain-closing mixed 4x100m freestyle China claimed gold in a championship record of 3:26.04 ahead of Russia, 3:27.96, Poland third in 3:29.17, Brazil and France locked out in 3:30.13 and 3:30.81.