Ye Shiwen and Sun Yang to lead China swimming stars against Australia and Japan on road to Rio Olympics
Double Olympic gold medallists Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen will headline a 24-strong Chinese team against Australia and an emerging Japan at the 2016 Perth Aquatic Super Series in February.
The 2012 London victors and Australia’s reigning world champions Emily Seebohm, Bronte Campbell and Mitch Larkin will be the main drawcards for the first international meet of 2016 on the road to the Rio Olympics, organisers said.
Japanese stars including two-time Olympic medallist Takuro Fujii and women’s World championship breaststroke medallist Rio Kaneto will also compete in Perth on February 5 and 6.
The Australian Dolphins will include 2013 world champion Cate Campbell and fellow 2015 Kazan medallists Cameron McEvoy, Madi Wilson, Jess Ashwood and Mack Horton.
“It's a great way to start the year, we are going to have some tough competition and everyone is racing not just for themselves but for the team,” said Cate Campbell.
“It's quite a small Australian team with a few new faces on it which will be really exciting; blooding some new athletes will be great especially in the lead up to an Olympic Games.”
Sun – China’s first male Olympic gold medallist with the 400m and 1500m freestyle – holds the 1,500m world record and won the 400 and 800m freestyle double at the world championships in Kazan last year.
He will race young Australian Mack Horton in both the 400m and 1,500m freestyle.
Ye, who won double gold in the 200m and 400m individual medley in London at the age of just 16, will face Australians Keryn McMaster and Tessa Wallace.
Japan have also named a 24-member team led by two-time Olympic relay medallist from 2008 and 2012, Fujii.