QINGDAO, China, March 24 (Xinhua) -- China's top swimmer Sun Yang pocketed the first gold medal at the National Swimming Championships here on Sunday as he cruised to win the men's 400m freestyle.
Sun, who topped the preliminaries in three minutes and 43.73 seconds, claimed the title with the same result.
"I am satisfied with the result, as I had a very tough training. My physical condition isn't perfect," Sun said.
And his mood wasn't good as well. "My friend Kenneth To, a Hong Kong swimmer, passed away days ago. I was shocked and couldn't stop the tears when I heard the sad news," Sun choked with sobs.
Ji Xinjie from Shandong followed up in 3:47.88 and his teammate Meng Rui took the bronze in 3:51.48.
World champion Wangjian Jiahe edged Li Bingjie to take the women's 400m freestyle in 4:03.77, as Tianjin's Dong Jie placed third.
"The result is not what I expected, I wished to swim faster," Wangjian said.
Zhejiang claimed the men's 4X100m freestyle relay title, as Guangdong and Shanghai placed second and third respectively.
The powerhouse Zhejiang also won the women's 4X100m freestyle relay, while Shandong took the runner-up place and Hebei grabbed the bronze medal.
Nearly 900 swimmers from 25 teams are competing at the Chinese National Swimming Championships running from March 24 to 31 in order to qualify for the 2019 FINA Swimming World Championships in South Korea.