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London Olympic champion Ye Shiwen qualifies for Paris Olympics

2024-04-25 10:38 Xinhua

SHENZHEN, April 24 (Xinhua) -- London Olympic champion Ye Shiwen claimed the women's 200m breaststroke gold medal in China's national swimming championships on Wednesday, qualifying for the upcoming Paris Olympics after an 8-year wait.

Ye won the race in 2:22.55, bettering the Olympic qualifying time 2:23.91. Tang Qianting took the silver and Zhu Leiju got the bronze.

"I am very satisfied with the result, which is better than I expected," Ye said.

Ye impressed the world by winning two golds in London Olympics at the age of 16. She retired in 2017 after an unsuccessful Rio Olympics before returning to the pool in 2019. She failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and announced retirement again. Ye made her second comeback in 2022 and won a gold medal in her hometown at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

The national swimming championships would be her last chance to book a place for Paris and considering her age, maybe her last chance to get an Olympic ticket.

Ye ranked only 11th and failed to qualify for the 400m medley three days ago, which she said was such a "huge blow".

"I had considered quitting this event after finishing the 400m medley, it was the fans' support that gave me the determination to carry on," the 28-year-old added.

Olympic champion Zhang Yufei won the women's 200m butterfly in 2:06.40, claiming her third gold medal in the event. Chen Luying placed second and Gong Zhenqi ranked third.

"The result is OK, but I am not satisfied with it. I tried my best," Zhang said.

World champion Xu Jiayu claimed men's 200m backstroke gold in 1:57.70, followed by Wang Yutian and Tao Guannan. ■