Zhang Yufei Moves to 14th All-Time in 200 Butterfly at Chinese Nationals

(140818) -- NANJING, Aug. 18, 2014 (Xinhua) -- Silver medalist Zhang Yufei of China poses on the podium during the awarding ceremony of the women's 200m butterfly final match of swimming event at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province, on August 18, 2014. (Xinhua/Fei Maohua)(tjh)
Photo Courtesy: Fei Maohua

Zhang Yufei continued her impressive run towards the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo as she won the 200 butterfly on day five of finals from Qingdao with a 2:05.44, putting herself 14th all-time and on top of the 2021 world rankings. Zhang is now fourth all-time in China as she improved on her previous best time of 2:05.49 from earlier this year.

Zhang has been swimming very well in the last 12 months as she has emerged as a medal contender in both butterfly events for this summer’s Olympics. Earlier this week, she put up the fastest time in the world in the 100 butterfly, an event that has become somewhat wide open and unpredictable.

China has a rich history in the 200 butterfly, winning back to back Olympic golds in 2008 and 2012 as Zhang has put herself among the contenders to join that club. On night five in Qingdao, she and Yu Liyan were the only swimmers under the FINA A standard as Yu was a 2:07.03 to finish second.

Yan Zibei, who is already on the team in the 100 breast, won the 200 breast at 2:10.80 ahead of Qin Haiyang (2:11.16) to miss the FINA A standard of 2:10.35, but were both under the B standard of 2:14.26.

Cheng Long won the 800 free in the absence of Sun Yang with a 7:55.43, a second over the A standard of 7:54.31. Sun has a potential to swim in Tokyo pending a CAS re-hearing this month.

He Junyi also won the men’s 100 free with a 48.71 ahead of Pan Zhanle (48.74) and Yang Jintong (48.94) as the A standard was a 48.57.

In semi-final action, Yang Junxuan, fresh off an Asian record in the 200 free, leads the 100 free at 53.56 ahead of Cheng Yujie (54.10), while Wang Yutian is leading the 200 back field at 2:00.24 ahead of favorites Li Guangyuan (2:00.53) and Xu Jiayu (2:01.18).

Yu Jingyao is also on top of the women’s 200 breast field with a 2:27.43 ahead of Ye Shiwen, on her last event to try to qualify for her third Olympics. Ye sits in second at 2:29.17 as the A standard they are trying to reach is a 2:25.

Wang Shun is the top seed in the 200 IM for tomorrow with a 1:59.42 with Qin Haiyang in second at 2:01.28.