Sun Yang of China's Zhejiang reacts after 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/Luo Yuan)
QINGDAO, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Star swimmer Sun Yang stormed to victory in the men's 800m freestyle with the world's fastest time of the year, while Yan Zibei tied his new national record in the men's 50m breaststroke at the Chinese National Swimming Championships here on Wednesday.
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.
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.
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.
Yan tied his new national record of 26.96 seconds in the men's 50m breaststroke after he bettered his own national mark in the semifinals, 0.02s shy of the Asian record.
In a battle of two 16-year-olds, Yang Junxuan edged Li Bingjie in the women's 200m freestyle, winning in 1:56.98 against Li's 1:57.31. Qiu Yuhan came third in 1:57.52.
"I did not train very well this winter session due to sickness," Yang said. "I was not happy with result but I am glad I won the gold medal."
Elsewhere, Wang Zhou beat veteran Li Zhuhao in the men's 200m butterfly, as he touched home in 1:56.98. Li took the silver in 1:57.02. Team Jiangsu won the mixed 4x100m medley relay with a time of 3:49.99.