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2-time world champion Xu victorious in 100m breaststroke at national swimming challenge

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-01-02 20:41
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World champion Xu Jiayu competes in the men's 100m breaststroke at the New Year Chinese National Swimming Challenge in Shijiazhuang, North China's Hebei province on Jan 2, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

SHIJIAZHUANG - Two-time world champion Xu Jiayu proved his reputation in the men's 100m breaststroke with a win at the New Year Chinese National Swimming Challenge on Saturday.

The Rio 2016 silver medalist touched home in 53.35 seconds to claim his first gold in 2021, but was not satisfied with the result, which was far behind his personal best of 51.86.

"I failed to work up my energy in the first 50m as I am trying to adapt to the race schedule and intensity of training before I got my energy back in the latter half," Xu said.

Adding to his 200m individual medley triumph on Friday, Wang Shun claimed first place in the men's 200m freestyle in 1:46.91, beating Ji Xinjie to second place in 1:47.01.

"The result boosts my confidence, especially given that I didn't participate in a single 200m freestyle competition last year. 1:46.91 is my fourth-best result in the event. I will try to achieve a better time," said Wang, who came from behind to clinch the win in the last 50m.

In women's 800m freestyle, Wang Jianjiahe ranked first in 8:21.32. It is the second gold the 18-year-old has snatched during the Challenge.

"The result today is a bit slower than what I have expected before, given the fact that it's difficult to boost my energy in the morning," said Wang.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Peng Xuwei dominated women's 100m backstroke at 1:00.13. World champion Fu Yuanhui, who fell within 60 seconds in the preliminary on Friday, ranked third in 1:00.95. In the women's 200 freestyle, Yang Junxuan led the field to win the gold in 1:55.65.

Qin Haiyang touched the finish line first in the men's 200m breaststroke in 2:10.78. Yu Jingyao took the first place in the women's 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:24.41, defeating 16-year-old Tang Qianjing in third place in 2:27.92. Tang ranked first in Friday's 100m breaststroke.

In men's 100m butterfly, Sun Jiajun won the gold in 52.51. While Zhang Yufei took the first place in women's 100m butterfly in 56.06, the same score as she achieved at the FINA World Championships Gwangju 2019.

Cheng Long stood first in men's 800m freestyle in 7:53.84.

The four-day event will have its last competition day on Sunday.

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