Asian Games

I am the one and only: Sun Yang hails himself swimming’s freestyle king after four golds and a bronze at China selection meet

The controversial star sweeps up at All China Champions meet in Taiyuan, Shanxi, ahead of Asian Games

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 April, 2018, 12:36pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 April, 2018, 10:55pm

Sun Yang has boasted he is the only swimmer in the world capable of racing all freestyle distances at a single event, with the controversial star taking four gold medals and one bronze at the All China Champions Meet in Taiyuan, Shanxi.

The multi-Olympic champion could not hold back his tears when he wrapped up the five-day meet with his victory in the men’s 1,500 metres, a distance in which he won a gold medal and set a world record at the 2012 London Olympics.

The 26-year-old had already won the 200m, 400m and 800m at Taiyuan, which acted as a selection meet for this summer’s Asian Games, while taking bronze in the 100m.

“No one has done this like me, competing in all freestyle events, either in a home event or an international competition,” said Sun after that third-placed finish. “It’s already a mission completed with or without all five gold medals.”

And China’s top swimmer was even happier with his performance given Taiyuan is located at a high altitude of 1,000 metres.

“It is quite dry here and therefore difficult for someone from southern China to adapt to it. The last two days were especially tough but I am so happy to have overcome it,” said Sun, who won the 1,500m in 15 minutes and 4.92 seconds, far behind his world record mark of 14:31.02.

“The 1,500 metre event is very demanding, both physically and mentally and with its standards getting higher and higher, there are less and less swimmers willing to spend time on it.

“But still the overall results here are very good for me, especially as I always struggle when competing in high altitude with my body burning very quickly.

“But this time I have successfully mounted such a big challenge with a good performance. I’ll go home and discuss with my coaches for a detail training programme leading to the Asian Games so that Team China can achieve even more better results in Indonesia.”