Xu Jiayu, Wang Shun celebrate ninth national titles in a row

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QINGDAO, China, May 6 (Xinhua) — Both world champion Xu Jiayu and Olympic bronze medalist Wang Shun showed their supremacy by winning the ninth consecutive gold medals in their respective fields at the Chinese National Swimming Championships here on Thursday.

Xu, two-time world champion in 2017 and 2019, clocked a time of one minute 56.92 seconds to seal the victory in men’s 200m backstroke. His teammate Li Guangyuan came second.

“I would give myself 8.5 points if the perfect mark is 10. I felt sick before the 100m back, but I did not give up. I tried everything through six races from 100m and 200m and one heat in the mixed 4X100m medley relay, and I have two more relay races to go in the competition. I will try to adjust myself to prepare for the Olympic Games,” Xu said.

The 27-year-old Wang dominated men’s 200m individual medley in 1.56.27, 0.62 short of his own national record. It was his 10th national title since 2011 and 9th in a run in this event since 2013. Qin Haiyang finished second in 1:59.43.

“The gold medal was like a meaningful gift for me as I have proved myself during the last 10 years. In fact, I did not count on that, but my friend reminded me about it this morning,” Wang said.

Olympic champion Ye Shiwen finished runner-up in the women’s 200m breaststroke in 2:27.54, while Yu Jingyao led the race 2:25.27.

“My results were beyond my expectation as I just recovered training less than two months. My goal is to earn a ticket to Tokyo Olympic Games,” said Ye, who collected two silvers in 200m IM and 400 IM in FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, in 2019.

19-year-old Yang Junxuan, who set a new Asian record in 200m freestyle, continued to blast her way in the 100m free 53.21, beating Wu Qingfeng and Cheng Yujie 53.84 and 53.91, respectively.

“I am not strong enough so far to swim under the 53-second barrier. I still need to improve myself,” Yang said. Enditem

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