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Special> Video> Sports
UPDATED: November 18, 2010
Chinese Swimmers Strike Gold At Last


Chinese swimmers had a chance to stop a long-time losing streak in the men's 4X200 meter freestyle relay at the Asian games on November 15. They faced archrival Japan in a gold medal showdown that could change a result that had lasted for 56 years.

South Korean Park Tae-hwan met Zhang Lin again on November 15. But the South Korean team's overall level of talent isnt' as strong. So China's top challenger was Japan, the team that has set the gold medal standard for 14 years.

Zhang Lin started first. He did no better than 4th place in the men's 200 freestyle on November 14, but he took the lead in the first 200 meters of the relay.

Jiang Haiqi followed Zhang, and he also ran a strong 200. The Chinese team led Japan by one body length after Jiang finished. But Li Yunqi tired out in the last 50 meters of his stint. Japan took the chance to catch up in the race, and it would all come down to the final 200 meters. All the pressure for China fell on the last swimmer, Sun Yang. The 19-year-old didn't disappoint the Chinese fans. He rose to the occasion and increased the lead. Sun Yang led China to the gold medal which it had waited 56 long years to win. The overall time was seven minutes and 7.68 seconds. China topped Japan in an emotional matchup and stopped its rival's gold medal run.

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang said, "All of us were eager to get the gold before the match. We had never beaten Japan in the 4x200m freestyle relay when I joined the Chinese team. We won the gold. I am very excited now."

Chinese swimmer Zhang Lin said, "We got it! We were excellent! Thanks to my teammates, their beautiful performances made the difference in the win."

Jiao Liuyang claims her 3rd gold

Olympic runner-up Jiao Liuyang represented China in the 200 meter butterfly. She competed without Olympic champion Liu Zige in the lineup. Jiao trained in America this year, and has been improving with every race. She even scored a world-best time for the event last April. Jiao broke out in front during the final, and easily won the gold in 2 minutes 05.79 seconds.

Jiao Liuyang said, "Actually the 200m is a very easy event for me. I wanted to get a good result. Maybe I could have done better. The overall time was not so good, but winning the gold is enough."

Jiao Liuyang has now collected three gold medals, including the 100m butterfly and 4x100m medley relay.

 (CNTV.cn November 17, 2010)


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