Zu Lijun narrowly retains title in men's 10km marathon swimming at China's National Games

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-30 16:43:34|Editor: Zhou Xin

Zu Lijun competes during the men's 10km of marathon swimming final at 13th Chinese National Games in north China's Tianjin Municipality, Aug 30, 2017. Zu Lijun won the gold medal. (Xinhua/Ding Xu)

TIANJIN, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- In a breath-taking final sprint, Olympic fourth place finisher and defending champion Zu Lijun snatched a narrow victory over local favorite An Jiabao by 0.19 seconds to lift the title of men's 10km marathon swimming race at the 13th Chinese National Games here on Wednesday.

Zu and An changed the lead over the 10km open water competition which featured 40 swimmers. And it was Zu who touched the pad first in one hour 56 minutes 32.64 seconds, beating An by 0.19 seconds. Liu Jiashu of Guangdong came third 1:56.40.27.

"In fact, I was exhausted at last but I took the advantage of my experience over An. I was lucky. An is young and very competitive open water swimmer," said the 28-year-old Zu.

Zu, who turned to open water swimmer since 2006, has dominated most of the open water national meets. "But I also swam in some long distance freestyle, including 400m and 1500m freestyle in the pool competitions."

"My dream is to win a medal for China at the international event, though I am not that young now. I want to compete more international meets and FINA events. I wish open water swimming race can be more popular in China," Zu said.

KEY WORDS: Chinese National Games