Olympic champions Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen, both Zheijiang, brought their China nationals campaigns to a close with respective efforts of 14:48.10 and 4:34.27 in the 1500m free and 400m IM in Zhengzhou today, Sun's effort a season world-ranks leaders.
Sun, 21, shrugged off a dispute with coach Zhu Zhigen with four golds and three world-ranks leading times over the course of eight days of racing, with at the sole sub-15-minute effort of the 30-lap race. No others broke 15mins, Hao Yun on 15:06, Zhang Yunxiang on 15:17 and six men inside 15:30.
"The National Championships improved my confidence, and I will focus on the preparation of the Barcelona Worlds and try to improve my start," said Sun, who clocked times of 1:44.99, 3:42.93 and 7:45.60 over 200, 400 and 800m this week, the 800m the only effort slower than someone else in the world this year, Canadian Ryan Cochrane on 7:43.61 at trials in Victoria. Cochrane's 14:58 at trials had been the only sub-15min effort in the world this year.
Coach Zhu Zhigen issued an unveiled threat to all Sun opponents when he told the Chinese media: “My target is to help him regain his peak form like he had in London as soon as possible. If [we manage], he will have a chance to win four individual events [200, 400, 800 and 1500 free]."
Last one to do that? No-one ever has.
Ye, 17, added to her wins in the 200m free, back and medley with a time almost 6sec outside her world record. The time settled her into second on the world ranks behind world s/c champion Hannah Miley, on 4:34.21 in Eindhoven at the weekend. Ye said: "I was very tired. I took part in too many races which made me exhausted. I need time to take some rest." Zhou Min, Shanghai, was next home in the 400m, on 4:37, while Olympic bronze medallist Li Xuanxu was locked off the podium in 4:41.
In the last session of the meet, there were also wins for Wang Shun, also Zhejiang, on 4:13.85 in the 400m medley, next best a 4:17; Suo Ran, Chinese Navy, on 31.33 in the 50m breaststroke, Tang Yi, Shanghai, on 25.16 in the 50m free and Sun Xiaolei, Shanghai, on 25.38 in the 50m backstroke.
The closing men's 4x100m medley went to province of the meet, Zhejiang, home of Sun, Ye and Wang, in 3:36.12, 0.02sec ahead of Guangdong.