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Lu Ying Presses On For China's Fly Crown

Apr 2, 2013  - Craig Lord

On the second day at Chinese National Swimming Championships in Zhengzhou, Lu Ying, of Shanghai, pressed ahead with her mission to topple her nation's two latest Olympic butterfly champion: a 57.94 in the 100m final granted the 23-year-old a narrow victory over London 2012 200m champion Jiao Liuyang, of Guangzhou Army.

Jiao clocked 58.02, and Liu Lan, Chinese Army, on 58.52. That locked out 2008 200m Olympic champion Liu Zige, of Shanghai, on 58.84 as the last inside 59, the final closed in 1:00.26. 

Lu's effort took her to second on the world rankings for 2013, just behind a 57.90 for 2009 world champion Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) and just ahead of Australia's Olympic medallist Alicia Coutts, on 58.00 so far this season. 

Lu has now been inside 58sec 10 times, her latest effort 9th best along the lines of her sole sub-57sec, on 56.87 for silver at London 2012, three other swims in 2012 and five efforts in 2011.

Olympic double medley champion Ye Shiwen, of Zhejiang, clocked 2:09.08 to win the 200m ahead of Zhou Min, Shanghai, on 2:11.50, and Zhang Wenqing, Shandong, on 2:11.73, the final closed at 2:15.98. Ye, 17, told Xinhua: "My form was better than yesterday but the result is OK. I need to improve my start and turns. My coach has reminded me that I'm a little fat, so I take part in as many meets to lose weight although it will make me very tired," said Ye. The results of the "many meets" have not made it beyond China.

Meanwhile, Sun Yang dominated the men's 200m freestyle semifinal, booking lane 4 for the final tomorrow in 1:46.23: a semi but just 0.12sec shy of the world's leading effort this year, that of Olympic champion Yannick Agnel (FRA). "It's not bad," said Sun, Olympic 400 and 1500m free champion. "I'm in my normal form since the 400m final yesterday. I believe I can reach the top form at the World Championships and claim better results than the Olympic Games." A swift turn around from coach crisis and shoulder injury. China's first ever male world champion, Zhang Lin, 800m free gold medal winner at Rome 2009, missed the semis of the 200m.

In the men's 100m breaststroke, Wang Shuai, of Beijing, pipped Gu Gu Biaorong, Guangdong, and Chen Cheng, Shanghai, 1:01.11 to 1:01.31 and 1:01.41, four others inside 1:02, the final closed at 1:02.10. In the other men's final of the  evening, Wu Peng, of Zhejiang, took the 50m butterfly in 23.79 ahead of Zhou Jiawei, Guangdong, 23.94, and Wang Yuxin, Shandong, 24.43.