Roundup: Chinese swimming shows strength at Kazan worlds

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China proved its swimming progress at the Kazan world championships, winning two gold and four bronze medals on the fifth competition day on Thursday, which was highlighted by Ning Zetao's men's 100m freestyle gold.

Ning, 22, won a historic 100m free gold for China. He trailed Canadian Santo Condorelli at the 50m mark but made a strong sprint in the last meters to time 47.84 seconds, winning China's first world championships gold in the event. Ning is also the first Asian to win the event at the worlds.

Australia's Cameron Mcevoy, who led the semifinals, trailed Ning 0.11 second. Argentina's Federico Grabich took bronze in 48.12.

"I don't know how to describe my feelings," said the 22-year-old, who saluted his country's flag during the medal ceremony. "I didn't expect the gold medal. I just want to say I'm Chinese."

Despite Ning's top finish in the heats and second ranking in the semis, no one had expected the Chinese to win the final. The Kazan worlds was his first major international competition.

"Before I came here, I just wanted to make it to the final. And before the final, my aim was to show my best," said Ning, who was crowned Asian champion of the 50m and 100m freestyle at the Asian Games last year.

"Winning the gold is like a dream," said the Asian record holder of the event. "I made it. And I show the world that Chinese men can also win the short distance swimming.

"Now I can think about the Rio Olympic Games. I hope I can achieve good results at Rio."

Minutes after Ning's victory, China's Fu Yuanhui, runner-up at the Barcelona worlds, clocked 27.11 seconds to win the women's 50m back final. Brazil's Etiene Medeiros took the silver at 0.15 second while China's Liu Xiang earned bronze in 27.58. Australia's Emily Seebohm, winner of the 100m backstroke on Tuesday, finished fourth.

"I invested so much into this victory. Two years ago I took part in the world championships and I learned a lot there. Now I am training much harder than anybody else in the world. I am doing it to be the first," said the 19-year-old Fu, who finished fourth in the 100m back.

Wang Shun renewed his personal best to take a bronze in the men's 200m medley with 1:56.81. American swimming star Ryan Lochte dominated the final in 1:55.81, while Thiago Pereira of Brazil came second in 1:56.65.

Without Olympic champions Liu Zige and Jiao Liuyang, China lost the dominance in the women' s 200m butterfly, but the good news was Zhang Yufei broke the world junior record to take a bronze with 2:06.51. Japan's Hoshi Natsumi led the final in 2:05.56, while American Cammile Adams came second in 2:06.40.

China also took the bronze of the women's 4x200m freestyle relay in 7:49.10. The United States claimed the title in 7:45.37, and Italy second in 7:48.41. Endit

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