QINGDAO, China, April 13 (Xinhua) -- China's top swimmer Sun Yang claimed his third title at the national championships here on Thursday as he cruised to win the men's 800m freestyle.
Sun, who has pocketed the 400m and 200m freestyle gold medals both with the best results of the year, swam the 16-lap event at ease before clocking it at seven minutes and 48.33 seconds.
"I'm a little bit tired," said Sun, who also competed in the heats and semifinals of the 100m freestyle earlier on Thursday. "I need to do different preparations for different distances. It's quite a challenge."
Sun's winning mark could be ranked third on this year's world rankings and he led the 100m semifinals in 49.13 seconds.
"I will try my best in tomorrow's final but I won't make any expectation for the result," said Sun. "The practice of the 100m is helpful for my 200m and 400m performance."
Sun will also compete in the 1,500m freestyle and a relay event at Qingdao. "From 100m to 1,500m, I have been working so hard so as to cover all these events. I hope I could achieve more," said the 25-year-old who won the 400m and 1,500m gold medals at London Olympic Games and the 200m title in Rio.
Breaststroke specialist Yan Zibei kept his record breaking pace at the championships. The 21-year-old won the 50m breaststroke race with a brand new national record of 27.34 seconds.
On Wednesday, Yan led the heats in 27.36 seconds, slicing the previous national record by 0.02 seconds. He also improved the national record of the 100m to 58.92 seconds in the opening competition day on Monday.
"It's too early to think about the (Tokyo) Olympic Games," said Yan. "I will focus on this year's National Games first. Besides, I hope I could make some achievements at the World Championships."
In other finals, Ai Yanhan finished first in the women's 200m freestyle in one minute and 56.72 seconds. Li Zhuhao brought home the gold of the men's 200m butterfly in one minute and 55.09 seconds. Team Guangdong clinched the title of the mixed 4x100m medley relay in three minutes and 51.55 seconds.
Fu Yanhui led the women's 50m backstroke semifinals in 27.73 seconds. She claimed the world title in 27.11 seconds two years ago in Kazan.
Wang Shun is expected to top the men's 200m medley final on Friday as the Olympic bronze medalist finished first in the semifinals in one minute and 58.95 seconds.