Butterfly specialist Wu Peng wins 200m individual medlay, Sun Yang takes 800m free as warm-up   2012-04-05 20:06:49

SHAOXING, China, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese swimming veteran Wu Peng entertained the home crowd by winning the men's 200-meter individual medley title at the national championships Thursday, which also serves as an important Olympic qualifier.

Wu, runner-up of the 200m fly at the 2007 Melbourne worlds, ruled the 200m im in one minute 59.50 seconds, beating Hunan's Yang Zhihe, the silver medallist, by 0.33 second. Defending champion Wang Shun, also from Zhejiang, finished third in 2:00.59.

"I had planned to compete in the 100m fly, but it would be too tired for me to take part in two events in one night," said Wu, who also won the 50m fly gold Tuesday. "So I had to choose one and I'm happy that I reached the Olympic A standard in the im."

Wu has to meet American swimming icon Michael Phelps at London Games in 200m fly and 200m im, and the 25-year-old Wu said there is still big gap between top swimmers and him in the 200m im.

"The 200m im is still dominated by foreign swimmers and I have big gap compared with them," he said. "So the 200m fly will be my focus."

With newly-crowned 1,500m world champion Sun Yang, the 800m free final was eye-catching, which saw the 20-year-old pocketed his second gold with ease.

Sun, who also won the 400m free Tuesday, touched the wall in 7:47.11, however, the result was almost 15 seconds behind the world record set by another Chinese swimming big name Zhang Lin at Rome worlds 2009.

"I take part in the 800m free to prepare for the 200m free Friday," said Sun, who seemed indifferent about the gap. "I just take it as a warm-up."

Wang Kecheng of Hunan came in second and Zhang Yunxiang of Shangdong placed third.

Lu Ying of Shanghai, bronze medallist of the women's 100m fly at Shanghai worlds last year, led throughout the final to win in 57.48. The Shanghai worlds 200m fly winner Jiao Liuyang of Guangzhou Army came in second in 57.80, while Beijing Olympic champion Liu Zige, representing Shanghai, finished third in 57.85.

"I caught a cold, so the result is not good," said Lu, winner of the 50m fly Monday. "I think I can improve it in the following days."

Jiao said she was a little out of strength at last and revealed her aim in London is to win a medal, while Liu, who always keeps low profile towards the media, didn't say a word.

To the cheers of zealous home fans, Zhejiang girl Fu Yuanhui edged Shandong veteran Gao Chang and Asian record holder Zhao Jing to win the title in 59.99. Gao finished second in 1:00.68, while the bronze went to Zhou Yanxin of Shanghai, who finished 1:00.80.

Zhao, winner of the event at Shanghai worlds, only finished the fifth in 1:01.27. "I am on a fever," she explained her bad form.

The women's 50m breaststroke title was claimed by Liaoning girl Liu Xiaoyu, and the men's 100m butterfly gold went to Guangdong's Zhou Jiawei, Asian champion of the event.

Women's 4x200m freestyle relay gold was grabbed by Shanghai team with 7:54.76, Shandong and Zhejiang timed 7:56.36 and 7:57.76 respectively also stand on the podium.

A total of 530 swimmers are competing in 40 events of the championship slated for April 2-8. 

Editor: Deng Shasha
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