China's double Olympic medley champion Ye Shiwen, 17, showed her versatility when she cracked 2:10 to win the 200m backstroke at the Chinese National Championships in Zhengzhou today.
She clocked 2:09.12 for victory at the helm of a Zhejiang clean sweep, her teammates 15-year-old 50 and 100m winner at the championships, Fu Yuanhui, on 2:10.01, and Bai Anqi, on 2:11.76.
Ye is used to trailing American world champion Elizabeth Beisel after backstroke, Beisel a podium placer in the 200m backstroke at London 2012 as well as silver medallist behind Ye in the 400m IM when the Chinese champion made headlines around the world by racing the last 100m freestyle of the long medley as fast as her male counterparts in the men's final. That marked the first time in history that a woman has swum as fast as the male finalists on the way home to the podium in any race in swimming at the Games.
Today, Ye trailed Fu Yuanhui over the first 100m, was closer at the last turn and then swept past her teammate for victory.
"I expected a better time according to my performance in the semifinal," said Ye, who topped the semifinals Saturday. "But to win is good." Ye's semi-final time was not reported, while China continues to be alone among leading nations in world swimming to lack any online presence for live results that the rest of the world can monitor.
When asked by Xinhua if she would take on the 200m backstroke as an international event, Ye replied: "I've never thought about it and I already have the 200m and 400m medley."
In other action, Ning Zetao, Chinese Navy, took the 50m free in 22.41 ahead of Lu Zhiwu, Zhejiang, 22.61, and Ban Bao, Liaoning, 22.71, the final closed in 22.98. Ning, who leaves his teenage years behind this year, had a previous best of 23.13, from October 2010. On March 9, 2011, Ning tested positive for Clenbuterolin an out-of competition doping control: the Chinese Swimming Association imposed a one-year suspension.
Lu Ying, Shanghai, claimed the women's 50m 'fly crown in 26.64 ahead of Olympic 200m champion Jiao Liuyang, Guangzhou Army, on 26.88, bronze going to Liu Lan, Chinese Army, in 26.92.
Zhou Jiawei, of Guangdong and 100m 'fly national record holder on 51.24 from the last season of shiny suits in 2009, clocked 52.11 for victory in his best event, with Shi Feng, Shanghai, on 52.64 (shiny best 51.68 from 2008) and Zhang Qibin, Shandong, 0.15sec outside his best on 52.71 for bronze. That locked out Wu Peng, Zhejiang, on 52.79. Zhou leads the early world rankings for 2013 with his effort, the wave of sub-52sec swims that will surely come yet to get rolling.
The women's 800m freestyle went to 14-year-old Xu Danlu, Ningxia, in 8:25.09, a best time inside the 8:27.43 she clocked last September for a 10sec progress in the year. The silver today went to Shao Yiwen Zhejiang, in 8:29.14, Xin Xin, Shandong, taking bronze in 8:34.21, four others inside 8:40.
Shanghai triumphed in the closing women's 4x100m medley relay, on 4:03.50, ahead of Guangdong, 4:04.79, and Shandong, 4:05.02.
Results at a glance: