Name: Wu Peng
Date of Birth: May 16, 1987
Home: Hangzhou, Zhejiang
Height: 1.80 meters
Weight: 72 kg
2002 Busan Asian Games: First, men's 200m backstroke, 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley
2004 National Swimming Championship & Olympic Trial – First, men's 400m individual medley and 200m butterfly
2005 National Swimming Championship & National Games Qualifiers – First, men's 400m individual medley
2006 World Short Course Swimming Championships – First, men's 200m butterfly
At the World Short Course Swimming Championships, Wu Peng helped the Chinese men win their first medal in international competition in ten years. At the Beijing Olympics, he will carry a nation's hopes for a breakthrough in swimming.
Wu, who frequently has a smile on his face, is a man who has also had to deal with tough times. Unfortunately, his father passed away when he was only 16 years old.
At the 2006 Shanghai World Short Course Swimming Championships, Wu won the 200m butterfly.
"Now, my one and only dream is to get the first gold medal for China in men's swimming at the 2008 Olympics," he said. "And I believe I can succeed."
Indeed, Wu's career is on the upswing. He had excellent times at the National Games and Asian Games. In fact, he has brought hope to China's swim team since first joining it.
Wu reveled in the fact that he was one of the youngest swimmers on the team when he joined.
"Very few people had the opportunity to get on the national team back then," he said. "I also gained confidence because of my good performances early on."
At the 2004 Athens Olympics, when he was only 17, Wu Peng made the 200m butterfly final and became the only Chinese swimmer to finish in the top eight at the games.
It was only Wu's first Olympics, and the team was satisfied with his performance.
"I was still very young at that time, so I was rather happy that I could make it to the finals," Wu said. But he added that he felt a little regretful he didn't try harder, believing that a medal was possible.
"I was less than a second slower than the bronze medal winner. I could have won it with more effort," he said.
Wu definitely won't allow any more regrets. He says that as long as he does what he needs to do, his training will make him better and there will be no discontentment in future competition.
The 2008 Olympics are on their way and Wu Peng won't let the opportunity pass him by. He has concentrated all his effort on the butterfly since the 10th National Games in 2005.
"My mind is focused on the Beijing Olympics now," Wu said. "I believe that with more practice on strength and explosiveness, a medal in the 2008 Games will not be a problem for me."
(China.org.cn June 20, 2008)