Qin Haiyang And Zhang Yufei Headline Strong China Squad At Asian Games

Haiyang Qin of China competes in the 200m Breaststroke Men Final with a New World Record during the 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 28th, 2023.
Qin Haiyang: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Qin Haiyang And Zhang Yufei Headline Strong China Squad At Asian Games

The swimming programme gets under way at the 19th Asian Games on Sunday with Qin Haiyang in the spotlight in and out of the pool in Hangzhou, China.

The Chinese athlete became the first swimmer to win the breaststroke triple in World Championship history in Fukuoka, Japan, this past July, with a further gold in the mixed medley relay and silver in the men’s event.

The 24-year-old’s victory in the 200m breaststroke witnessed a 2:05.48 WR as he took a 0.47sec slice from Zak Stubblety-Cook‘s previous standard of 2:05.95.

Haiyang Qin of China celebrates after competing in the 200m Breaststroke Men Final during the 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 28th, 2023. Haiyang Qin placed first winning the gold medal.

Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

There were also Asian records of 26.20 and 57.69 in the 50 and 100 respectively where Qin became second-fastest all-time in both events, eclipsed only by Adam Peaty and his world records of 25.95 and 56.88.

Qin already has three Asian Games medals among his armoury from the 2018 edition in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Bronzes in the 200 breaststroke (2:08.07) and 200IM (1:57.09) were accompanied by gold in the men’s medley relay after he swam in the heats, splitting 1:00.44 – 3.01secs slower than his split in the men’s medley relay in Fukuoka.

His first action at the 2023 edition will be as China’s male flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony on Saturday evening before he makes his first appearance at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Aquatic Sports Arena at 1024 the following morning in the final 200IM prelim.

The meet features heats straight to finals across the six-day programme with Qin one of a number of swimmers set for a busy schedule.

He’ll look to complete the breaststroke treble for the third time in as many months after he replicated his worlds exploits at the World University Games in Chengdu, China.

In Fukuoka, he made no bones about his desire to claim Peaty’s standards and ahead of the opening ceremony, Qin said:

Being flag bearer is not only my personal honor but also an honor for the Chinese swimming team.

“I hope to rewrite the world record in other events and stand on the top podium of the Olympics.”

His teammate Zhang Yufei has also been on scorching form this year with two titles among five medals at worlds which she followed up with an eye-watering nine golds at the World University Games.


Zhang Yufei: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Zhang also cemented her status as a dominant force across a range of free and fly events, going number two all-time behind Sarah Sjostrom in the 50 fly in 25.05 in Fukuoka.

The 25-year-old already has four medals across two Asian Games and begins her Hangzhou campaign in the first event, the 200 fly in which she’s Olympic champion.

Zhang then goes on to compete in the 50 free and 50 and 100 fly plus relays.

Li Bingjie is entered into the 200-400-800-1500 free, evoking memories of Katie Ledecky who completed such a quadruple at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Li won the 4-8-15 in Chengdu but will face the likes of Tokyo 200 silver medallist Siobhan Haughey in the 200, the Hong Kong swimmer seeking her first individual Asian Games medal after three relay bronzes in 2014.

Pan Zhanle seeks his first individual senior medal in international waters, two months after finishing fourth by 0.01 in the 100 free at worlds.

He’ll face opposition in the 100 and 200 from Hwang Sunwoo, who became the first Korean swimmer to make the podium at consecutive World Championships, following 2022’s 200 silver with bronze in Japan.

Rikako Ikee is in action five years after being awarded MVP after winning six gold and two silver medals along with fellow Japanese Yui Ohashi – who won the medley double at the Tokyo Olympics.

Kayla Sanchez will make her first appearance for the Philippines after switching from Canada with whom she won two Olympic and six world relay medals.




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