Thursday, 7 April 2011

Breaking News: Sun Yang - 1500 Free - 14:42.52

According to a Chinese report just out, at Chinese Nationals Sun Yang rocketed to the top of the 2011 world rankings with his time of 14:42.52 in the 1500 Free.

WATCH THE RACE HERE (Huge thanks to swimfan2 for the link. For more video from Chinese Nationals, click here )

Whilst a little off his best time of 14:35.43 from last year , it still ranks as the 13th fastest performance of all-time and cements his place at the top of the world in the event.

Hoping for a world record this week was probably wishful thinking after Sun Yang stated that he had focused more on speed for this meet, highlighted by his 1:44.99 200 Free and 3:41.48 400 Free efforts. The big question will be what he focuses on in Shanghai. He is a potential medalist in the 200 Free, the marginal favourite in the 400 Free and undisputed favourite in the 1500 Free.

PS. Many in the swimming world have accused China of being too secretive and use this fact to cast aspersions on Chinese swimmers and their success. On that point I should say that in the last hour I have watched more swimming from Chinese Nationals than I did for the entire British Nationals.


  1. according to

    Sun Yang says he did not put in his fullest effort in his 1500m today. He said he will wait until his full fitness for his full effort.

  2. Great insight John (both here and on Swimming World), thanks for the link. I really like that statement about being at his best in Shanghai... interesting to see he is going to Kunming for altitude training next too.

    Also out of curiosity, do you speak Chinese?

  3. yup, but unfortunately not well enough find full length videos of this weeks swims... only clips of them from news broadcasts. Needless to say, we didn't really miss much, in each one Sun was the only one in camera shot by the end.
    There's also a good chance I'll be in China during the WC, and if my schedule falls into place, Shanghai.

  4. Guys, the CCTV web site has clips for all of yesterday's and today's races that include men's 200 and 1500 free and women's 200 fly. Unfortunately, they are all in Chinese and some clips are frustratingly slow. It is still better than none. Here is the link and enjoy:

  5. great find!
    Watching the 200m free video, I'm very convinced that Sun Yang could take home a medal (possibly silver) this summer at Shanghai if he does this event.

    Simply from a technical standpoint:
    - he lost over half a body length (0.6~) off the start, and it wasn't like the other men in the race kick out that far anyways.
    - he loses quite a bit of momentum coming off the walls because he breathes three times. His turns themselves are at best mediocre.
    -in his last three strokes of his race he lifts his head entirely out of the water, which costs him time.

    These are three things aren't -that- hard to fix especially if you give him the 3 months are left. Even if he doesn't improve his overall turns, and just fix the start, the breathing off the turns and keeping his head down at the finish-- that's probably worth over a second. Which already puts him in silver medal territory. Factor in increased fitness and race preparation and you'd have a swimmer who in my honest opinion could push for gold.

    Its a shame he said he won't be swimming this event this summer. But watch out for him in London. I wish there was video for the 400m too.

  6. swimfan2, huge thanks for the link!

    I've just watched the entire 1500, great to be able to study Sun Yang's stroke like that.

    John26, I agree with all your observations.

    Two points I noticed were a) the unbelievable distance per stroke he gets, and b) how high elbows are on the recovery.

    On the breating issue, surely Denis Cotterell would have taught him off that by now during his time with him. I almost wonder whether he suffers from asthma/some other breating difficulty and he needs to do that every turn. Occasionally whilst he's swimming he also breathes once a stroke.

  7. Did you guys noticed the 4th place finisher in men's 200 free, Wang Shun, came in with a 1'48"44. He had another 4th place finish early in the night in men's 400 IM with a time of 4'14"88. Earlier in the meet, he was the winner of 200 IM (1'59"50). Talk about China's medal chance in men's 800 free relay, he will be a solid alternative to Zhang Lin if he is not available. Definitely a guy (17 years old) to watch in the next few years.

  8. Sun Yang's 400 and 800 are also posted there now along with Liu Zige's 100 fly.

  9. Sun Yang will break the 400 and 1500 WR - no doubt.
    Also, I wouldnt consider the Chinese training all that secretive. The national team were actually based on the gold coast training with Dennis Cotteral for well over 6 weeks. Anyone who stopped by during that time was treated to some ridiculous training swims. They will be out of control in July.