Zhang, 17, On 1:56 China 200 Back Mark
Apr 2, 2011 - Craig Lord
In Wuhan, Chinese swimmers today gave a hint of what the world faces this summer at world championships in Shanghai as the hosts warm-up for success in front of a home crowd.
Zhang Fenglin took out the Chinese record in the 200m backstroke and leapt over James Goddard (GBR) for the helm of the 2011 world rankings with a storming 1:56.34. That's some progress for the 17-year-old: at Asian Games in November he rose to 13th on the world rankings for last year with a 1:57.53 Asian mark, after a 1:58.17 best in 2009. The minor spoils in Wuhan went to Chen Feiyi, 1:58.18, and Diao Jigong, on 1:58.99.
Li Xuanxu clocked 8:23.96 to win the 800m free crown a touch down on her 2010 best of 8:23.55. Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington, on 8:20.23 last month to claim the fastest time set so far since the ban on non-textile suits over the distance, leads the world rankings so far in 2011, with Li now second. In Wuhan, Chen Qian took silver in 8:24.96, the bronze going to Shao Yiwen in 8:26.94. For Chen, that marked a return to her 2009 form after a drastic falling off last year: 8:49.30 was her 2010 best, while 8:20.36 was the time on the clock in 2009, for the then 15-year-old.
The men's 200m breaststroke went to 16-year-old Huang Chaosheng in 2:12.35, up from a best of 2:13.06 set last August. The bronze went to Xue Ruipeng, in 2:14.10, while Xie Zhi finished third in 2:14.13. Xue and Xie were both on 2:12s last season.
Chen Yin, Asian Games bronze medallist, is the 200m 'fly national champion, his 1:57.25 ahead of Shi Feng, on 1:57.58, and Chen Weiwu, on 1:58.27.
In the women's 50m 'fly, Lu Ying clocked 26.23 ahead of Ling Shuyuan, 26.91, and Guo Fan, 26.93, Olympic 200m champion Liu Zige locked out in fourth on 26.96.
In the closing 4x100m free relay, Shanghai's Zhu Qianwei, Pang Jiaying, Lu Ying and Tang Yi clocked 3:39.18 to take the crown ahead of Liaoning, on 3:41.38, and Guangzhou, on 3:42.55. Only 12 nations in the world, including China, have a national record faster than Shanghai's squad triumphed in today.