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Xu Jiayu dominates 100m backstroke for eighth consecutive national title

N.C.N. Limited 徽标 N.C.N. Limited 2021/5/3 Zhou Xin,Xia Liang
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Chen Jie of Hubei competes during the women's 100m backstroke final at the 2021 Chinese National Swimming Championships in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, May 3, 2021. (Xinhua/Xu Chang)

Olympic runner-up and two-time world champion Xu Jiayu won the men's 100m backstroke at the Chinese National Swimming Championships here on Monday.

QINGDAO, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Olympic runner-up and two-time world champion Xu Jiayu extended his winning streak in the men's 100m backstroke as he claimed his eighth consecutive victory at the Chinese National Swimming Championships here on Monday.

Xu took the lead and never looked back in the 100m back final, clocking a time of 52.88 seconds for the gold medal. "I was happy that I kept momentum through heats, semifinal and final, especially when I am yet to reach my peak physical shape," Xu said.

A clash between the veteran and young talent was set in the women's 100m backstroke final as Olympian Chen Jie beat 18-year-old Peng Xuwei by 0.14 seconds. Chen took the victory in 59.75 and Peng finished in 59.89.

Wang Shun, Rio Olympic bronze medalist in the 200m individual medley, snatched his first 200m freestyle national title in 1:46.55, beating mid-long distance swimmer Ji Xinjie 1:46.75.

"I was happy with the time as I seldom swam 1:46 in 200m free for a couple of years. I was trying to balance my medley races and the freestyle events in the competition," Wang said.

Tang Qianting made a splash in the women's 100m breaststroke by winning in 1:06.82. Veteran Yu Jingyao came second in 1:07.73. "I improved my tactics, technique, and physical training since last year and I believed that helped me to swim faster," said the 17-year-old Tang.

More than 500 swimmers from 26 teams are competing in the nine-day championships, which also serves as one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic trials. 

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