Sun Yang of Zhejiang reacts after the men's 400m freestyle swimming final at 13th Chinese National Games in north China's Tianjin Municipality, Aug. 31, 2017. Sun Yang won the gold medal with 3 minutes and 41.94 seconds. (Xinhua/Fei Maohua)
TIANJIN, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- As the eldest swimmer among all the finalists, Olympic and world champion Sun Yang swam his own race and claimed the title in the men's 400m freestyle for the third time in a row at the 13th Chinese National Games here on Thursday.
It was also the 100th gold medal of his swimming career.
Sun met no challenges en route to the championship and stormed home in 3 minutes and 41.94 seconds.
It was the second fastest time of the season, and would have been enough to win the gold medal at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary last month, when Sun was crowned with a season best time of 3:41.38.
Ji Xinjie of Shandong finished second in 3:47.52 and Qiu Ziao of Shanghai came in third with a time of 3:49.52.
Sun, who just swept three consecutive 400m freestyle titles at the Worlds, said he "was happy to win the event for the third time."
"As the eldest one in the final competing with those who are 7 or 8 years younger, I was not lonely in the competition. I always want to swim as fast as I can. I was concentrated on my own race and techniques," he added.
"I was satisfied with my result today. Because I got cold since I arrived here four days ago and was named the flag bearer for my hometown Zhejiang at the opening ceremony. It was a great pleasure for me as I seldom showed up at the opening ceremony of big events," remarked the 26-year-old.
Sun will compete in the 200m, 800m, 1,500m and 3 relays at the National Games after the 400m victory.
Also on Thursday evening, Wang Shun from Zhejiang dominated the men's 400m individual medley in 4:12.59 and Zhou Min from Shanghai claimed the title of the women's 400m IM with a time of 4:40.75.
The team consisted of Zhang Yufei, Wu Qingfeng, Wu Yue, and Zhu Menghui won the women's 4X100m freestyle relay in 3:36.66.
A total of 621 swimmers are competing in the quadrennial National Games.