Xu Jiayu Swims 52.8 100 Back, Wang Shun Picks Up 200 Free at Chinese Nationals

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Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Two-time reigning world champ Xu Jiayu picked up a third Olympic berth as he won the 100 back final with a 52.88, which is slower than his best of 51.86 but is quicker than the FINA A cut of 53.85. Xu won silver at the last Olympics in Rio and has won gold at the last two World Championships. His time on Monday puts him third in the world for 2021 behind the Russian duo of Evgeny Rylov (52.12) and Kliment Kolesnikov (52.24).

Second place in the 100 back went to Li Guangyuan (54.63) who was slower than the A standard.

In the absence of two-time reigning World champ Sun Yang in the 200 free, Wang Shun won with a 1:46.55, picking up his second event for Tokyo if he chooses to swim the 200 free. Wang already won the 400 IM and is the reigning Olympic bronze medalist in the 200 IM, which would presumably be his best shot at a gold medal. The second spot went to Ji Xinjie (1:46.75), although that may end up going to Sun depending on his CAS re-hearing at the end of this month. With the addition of Sun and third place finisher Hong Jinquan (1:47.30), China has a solid 4×200 free relay worthy of a medal as they were sixth at the 2019 Worlds.

The Chinese women had two new qualifiers in the 100 back with Chen Jie (59.75) and Peng Xuwei (59.89) both getting under the 1:00.25 A standard, sitting 13th an 15th in the world, respectively. This is Chen’s second trip to the Olympics at age 26 while this is Peng’s first at age 18. Reigning Olympic bronze medalist Fu Yuanhui was disqualified in the heats for a false start.

Tang Qianting was the lone Olympic qualifier in the 100 breast at 1:06.82, just getting under the 1:07.07 A standard.

In semi-final action, 15-year-old Yu Yiting cruised through the 200 IM with a 2:11.18 after her world junior record in the heats at 2:09.88. Chen Juner is leading the 200 fly at 1:58.47 while Li Bingjie is on top of the 200 free field at 1:57.54.

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