China's new swimming success, Wu Peng, secured an historic
victory in the 200-metre butterfly at the World Short-course
The 19-year-old from Hangzhou of east China's Zhejiang Province clocked 1 minute 52.36
seconds, a championship record, beating Moss Burmester of New
Zealand and Nikolay Skvortsov of Russia into second and third
His gold was one of three won by the host team and one of five
medals from the five-day event.
It was only the second time ever that Chinese men have triumphed
in a swimming tournament since Wang Yiwu's 200m breaststroke
victory 11 years ago during in 1995 in Brazil.
Wu's victory was all the more impressive because will power was
used to help him overcome a toe bone fracture which happened just
before the race.
"We have definitely proved ourselves on the international
stage," said a delighted Wu.
"It's not only me as my teammate Zhang Lin can also do it,"
added Wu, pointing to the swimmer who took a bronze in the men's
1,500m freestyle. Yury Prilukov of Russia won the arduous event in
a championship record time of 14:23.92, followed by Park Tae-hwan
of South Korea.
"I think Asian swimmers have a better chance in long-distance
swims compared with European and American athletes," said Wu who
wads a bronze medal winner in the event at the last tournament held
two years ago in Indianapolis.
Wu, with Zhang and backstroke star Ouyang Kunpeng who settled
for fourth place in the 200m last night, are seen as China's medal
hopes for the men's team at the Beijing 2008 Games.
Chinese swimmers delighted the local crowd last night with gold
medals from Qi Hui (women's 200m breaststroke) and Yang Yu (women's
200m freestyle). Qi also won gold in the 200m and 400m individual
China finished with a record five gold, one silver and six
bronze medals to rank third in the medal table.
(China Daily April 10, 2006)