- Language Tips
Chinese swimming proved again that it's a world power, though there is still a sizeable gap between the men and women.
Boasting a strong Olympic roster, China was second on the medal table with three gold, five silver and three bronze medals at the world short-course championships in Istanbul.
It was the second time this year China was runner-up to the United States in a high-profile event, coming in the wake of the London Olympics.
The women's squad, which includes London Olympic double gold medalist Ye Shiwen, butterfly champion Jiao Liuyang and backstroke specialist Zhao Jing, contributed 10 of the 11 medals while breaking two meet records - the 200m individual medley and the 50m backstroke.
Ye, who is still adjusting after the Olympics, finished second in the 400m IM but won the 200m IM in 2 min, 4.64 sec, only 0.04 second slower than the world record in the 25m pool.
The 16-year-old, who won two silvers in Dubai at the short-course worlds two years ago, became the first Chinese swimmer to take gold at all four prestigious events - the Asian Games, Olympics and short- and long-course worlds.
Another world-record holder, Zhao, made a strong comeback in her signature 50m backstroke, clocking 25.95 sec to break the meet record by 0.16. It was her first major title since Dubai.
"Since I stopped using the textile swimming suit, this is my personal best. The opponents were very strong and I was nervous before the race. I'm over the moon now," the 22-year-old said.
Lu Ying raced to gold in the 50m butterfly, while Jiao claimed two silvers in the sprint and 200m fly. Veteran butterflyer Liu Zige added a silver in the 100m fly and Tang Yi took bronze in the 100m freestyle.
The women's success was in sharp contrast to the men, who settled for one medal as Sun Yang skipped the event for training. London's 400m free finalist Hao Yun claimed the event's silver medal in Istanbul to become the first male Chinese swimmer on the podium in the event in 25m pool.
(China Daily 12/18/2012 page23)