Sun Yang of China's Zhejiang reacts before the men's 800m freestyle final during China's National Swimming Championships in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, March 27, 2019. Sun won the gold medal. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)
QINGDAO, China, March 27 (Xinhua) -- China's star swimmer Sun Yang stormed to victory in the 800m freestyle at the Chinese Swimming Championships here on Wednesday, setting the world's fastest time over the distance this year.
With his own song 'A Man Should Strive to be Strong' playing in the background, Sun dominated the final and consistently increased the gap to the rest of the field, ultimately winning in 7:48.03.
Ji Xinjie took the silver in 7:56.03, edging Shandong teammate Cheng Long, who finished third in 7:56.38.
"I am glad with my time after also competing in the 400m and 200m freestyle across four very intensive days. I did everything my coach Zhu Zhigen told me to do before the race, and the result came exactly as he said it would," Sun said with a smile.
Sun paid special gratitude to his long-time coach Zhu, whom he reunited with last year after a four-year separation between 2013 and 2017.
"I am more confident over long distances thanks to his help. I can see my progress as I feel more relaxed in pace and strokes. I hope I can use my strong sense of timing to my advantage," Sun said.
The swimmer revealed his life revolves entirely around his chosen discipline. "I have a strict daily routine. I train very hard and I rarely go out for entertainment. I only went out once in five weeks when I trained in Singapore recently, as I had dinner with my Olympic champion friend Joseph Schooling, the hero of Singapore."
As the eldest swimmer in the Qingdao pool, the 27-year-old said he is still as eager for victory as he was growing up.
"The youngest swimmer at the national championships is only 12 years old, 15 years younger than me. But I am still as hungry for victory as if I had never won a championship. I hope more young talents will come up to make Chinese swimming stronger," the multiple Olympic champion said.