Olympic and world champion Sun Yang started his freestyle harvest by breezing past the 200 meters freestyle heats on the first day of the Chinese National Swimming Championships & Asian Games Trails on Friday.
It was Sun's first competition of the season after he claimed 200m and 400m freestyle titles at the World Championships in Budapest last July and swept 6 golds 1 silver from the quadrennial National Games last September.
Sun, who clocked one minute 47.87 seconds in the men's 200m freestyle heats, will compete in the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle at the six-day Chinese top-level swimming meet.
"I felt good about my heat performance. I expect good results here at the national championships. I just came back to my long-time coach Zhu Zhigen at the beginning of this year. I hope we can enjoy our work together until the Tokyo Olympic Games," Sun said.
Zhu had taught Sun for 16 years and helped Sun to win two gold medals at 2012 London Olympic Games. Sun changed coaches in late 2013 and trained with other Chinese coaches and Australian Dennis Cotterell.
World champion Xu Jiayu placed second in the men's 100m backstroke in and Li Zhuhao entered men's 200m butterfly final
Fu Yuanan, who won 50m backstroke world champion in 2015 and runner-up in 2017 worlds, finished 15th in the women's 200m backstroke for 2:15.19. Shi Jinglin, world bronze medalist in women's 200m breaststroke, also failed to make the final by swimming 1:10.83 and 11th place in the 100m breaststroke heats.
Unlike the eight-day competition format in previous years, this year the Chinese national championships is on a six-day schedule. Events under the 200 meter distance will have heats and final within one day by reducing the semifinals, while events longer than 800 meters will have slow and fast heats.