left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Two gold medals? That's nothing

Updated: 2013-04-09 05:49
By Sun Xiaochen ( China Daily)

There's just no satisfying some people.

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang won gold medals in the 800m and 1,500m freestyles at the FINA World Championships in 2011, but his coach thinks he can win four titles at the event in July.

"My target is to help him regain his peak form like he had in London as soon as possible, said coach Zhu Zhigen. "(If we can do that), he will have a chance to win four individual events (ranging from the 200m to the 1,500m)."

Sun's strength and stroke efficiency have improved to the point that four gold medals seem realistic. He's been strong in shorter races recently, winning the 400m free at the London Olympics and establishing a season-best result in the 200m at the recent National Championships.

Remarkably, there is still room for improvement.

"I still have to improve my starting and turning skills. That's where I can still improve my results," Sun said.

During his silver-medal-winning 200m freestyle final in London, Sun was the fastest swimmer during the bulk of the race, but the slowest at starting and turning among the eight finalists, Zhu said.

"Keeping up his daily workload while polishing the details will be our strategy to prepare for the Worlds," Zhu said.

To maintain his aerobic capacity, Sun swims 20,000 meters a day, then goes for a medical massage to keep his worn-out shoulders in good condition.

"Coach Zhu is the only person who knows Sun's limit of training intensity and quantity based on his current conditioning. He can maximize the effects of training while keeping Sun healthy," said Zhou Yafei, a commentator with CCTV and former world champion swimmer.

Zhu said four titles won't be the limit for Sun at the Worlds if everything goes perfectly.

"With a group of young freestyle specialists emerging, led by Sun, we will also look for a title in the men's 4x200m relay," Zhu said.

The Chinese contingent of Sun, Hao Yun, Li Yunqi and Jiang Haiqi won a bronze medal in the event in London.

Zhu will lead Sun and other swimmers in his group to Yunnan province for altitude training next month before flying to Australia to train.

(China Daily 04/09/2013 page23)

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.