Chinese teen swimmers on track for Rio

Two Chinese young guns showed they were ready to make a splash at the Rio Olympics with impressive wins at the Aquatic Super Series in Perth on Saturday night.

Seventeen-year-olds Li Zhuhao and Wang Siqi both won their individual events on Saturday to show they are well advanced in their preparations for the August Olympics.

Wang upset in-form local Emma McKeon in the women’s 200m butterfly, the event the Chinese teenager claimed at the World Junior Championships last year.

McKeon was aiming for a fourth win in as many events at the Super Series and led at the final turn.

However, Wang surged past the tiring McKeon in the last 50m to win with a time of 2:07.24, beating the Australian by 0.44sec.

Earlier, Li won the men’s 100 butterfly with a time of 51.97.

Li announced himself as an emerging star in 2015 and was named the World Junior Swimmer of the Year.

However, the Australian team took the overall honours on the points tally against the Japanese and Chinese over the two-day three-nation event and star local sprinter Cameron McEvoy shone brightest on the second night.

McEvoy capped an impressive couple of nights with victories in the men’s 4x50m freestyle relay, 200m freestyle and 50m freestyle, having also taken out the 100m freestyle on Friday night.

The dual finalist at the Kazan World Championships last year was far too good for countryman David McKeon in the 200m, winning by more than two seconds in a time of 1:46.71.

His winning time of 21.73 in the 50m was his second personal best of the meet from his three individual swims, and he led throughout to beat fast-finishing teammate James Magnussen.

McEvoy then came from behind in the final leg of the relay to lift Australia A to victory.

Australian siblings Cate and Bronte Campbell finished first and second in the women’s 100m freestyle, and Japanese brothers Hiromasa and Takeharu Fujimori headed the placings in the men’s 200m individual medley.

Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki won his second race of the meet, in the men’s 100m breaststroke.

However, he said he needed to improve to be a force in Rio.

“It’s really good to win both the 100 and 200,” he said.

“But it is not enough to win at Rio though, so I need to work hard and be ready for that.”

Japan’s Rie Kaneto completed the women’s 100m and 200m breaststroke double for the meet, with victory in the latter.

Australian World Championship gold medallist Emily Seebohm trailed countrywoman Madison Wilson at the turn in the 100m backstroke, but finished powerfully to win in 59.03.

Another reigning world champion, Mitch Larkin, completed the men’s backstroke double with victory in the 200m.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here