Sun Yang Adds 800m and 200m Freestyle Titles Under His Belt at Chinese Swimming Championships

| Apr 15, 2017 09:17 AM EDT

Sun Yang

Olympic and world-record-holding swimmer Sun Yang won the 800-meter men's freestyle and the 200-meter men's freestyle on the fourth day of the Chinese National Swimming Championships in Qingdao.

The 25-year-old got the 800-meter men's freestyle title in 7 minutes and 48.33 seconds, beating second placer Qiu Zhao who timed in at 7 minutes and 52.59 seconds. Gao Xuelei placed third in 7 minutes and 56.73 seconds.

Sun later edged Lin Yongqin for the top seed in the men's 100-meter men's free semifinals, 49.13 to 49.15. Yu Hexin checked in third at 49.42.

On Monday, Sun recorded the world's best time of the year, winning the men's 400-meter men's freestyle at the Chinese National Swimming Championships in Qingdao. He finished in 3 minutes and 42.16 seconds.

The 400-meter freestyle race was the first event for Sun nearly eight months after the Rio Olympic Games, where he finished second after Australian Mack Horton in the 400-meter freestyle.

Sun said that he is keeping watch of the ongoing Australian National Championships and is trying to outpace the swimmers there. His timing on Monday bested Horton's winning mark in Australia by 2.02 seconds.

Sun's triumph on Monday was followed by Yan Zibei's national record at the Championships where he finished in 58.92 seconds in the semifinals of the men's 100-meter breaststroke.

The 21-year-old Yan of Team Hubei said that while he was thinking about breaking the national record, he never thought he could swim 100 meters in 59 seconds this time.

On Tuesday, Sun cruised to the top spot in the 200-meter men's freestyle with the time of 1 minute and 46.11 seconds. That was the event he won at the Rio Games in 1 minute and 44.65 seconds.

However, it was after this event when he fell sick in the Rio Olympics due to the intensity of the competition with Horton on top of his jetlag. That made him fail to qualify for the 1,500-meter race in the Olympics, placing only 16th (only the top eight will proceed to the finals) and hampered his much-anticipated showdown with Horton in the 1,500-meter race.

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