China on rise as Lochte bests Phelps

Ye Shiwen and Sun Yang seized gold on Saturday as China issued an emphatic challenge to US Olympic swimming supremacy on a day when American icon Michael Phelps floundered.

Ye, 16, delivered a breathtaking closing freestyle leg to win the women's 400m individual medley in a world record of 4min 28.43sec.

Sun became the first Chinese man to win Olympic swimming gold as he denied South Korean Park Tae-Hwan a repeat of the 400m freestyle title he won in Beijing.

Sun leapt onto a lane rope for a clenched-fist roar of celebration after winning in 3:40.14.

"It's beautiful," said a weeping Sun. "It's a big dream come true for me."

He didn't apologize for his emotional reaction.

"Today, if I cry, it is because I have worked really hard in the last year, getting up early and training until late, so this makes it all worth while," Sun said.

Meanwhile, the highly anticipated duel between Phelps and team-mate Ryan Lochte in the men's 400m medley proved to be all Lochte as the laid-back Floridian won in 4:05.18 ahead of Brazilian Thiago Pereira and Japan's Kosuke Hagino with Phelps shockingly shut out of the medals in an event that figured in his eight-gold bonanza in Beijing.

Ye delivered a storming final freestyle leg to break the previous world record of 4:29.45, set by Australian Stephanie Rice en route to gold at the Beijing Games four years ago.

"I dreamed of winning the gold medal, but I never ever expected to break a world record," Ye said. "I'm overwhelmed."

American Elizabeth Beisel, who led most of the way before Ye surged past her on the penultimate lap, was second in 4:31.27 and Li Xuanxu picked up a bronze for China for good measure in 4:32.91.

Rice, nursing a shoulder injury, was tied for sixth.

Sun, 20, swept past Park at the final turn and powered home, missing out on German Paul Biedermann's 2009 world record by seven-hundredths of a second.

"I didn't handle his comeback," admitted Park, who will now turn his attention to the 200m free beginning on Sunday.

Sun, the 1500m freestyle world record holder, claimed a first international victory over Park, who made the final after a tumultuous day that included a disqualification for a false start in the heats and an appeal by South Korea that saw him reinstated.

"There was a lot going on for me this morning," Park said. "There was some influence from that in the final, but I am not going to blame it on that."

That was just one of the oddities on a day when Phelps, who had never been seeded worse than fourth in an Olympic final, barely sneaked into the medley final and found himself swimming out in lane eight.

Lochte won in 4min 05.18sec, comfortably in front of Brazilian Thiago Pereira in 4:08.86 with Japan's Kosuke Hagino claiming bronze with an Asian record of 4:08.94.

Lochte said he was "in shock" and it could have been at finding himself atop the podium after taking bronze behind Phelps four years ago -- or at the absence of his illustrious teammate from the medals ceremony.

"I am really suprised Michael didn't medal," Lochte said. "Whenever he swims he is on the medal stand, no matter what."

Phelps, fourth in 4:09.28, failed to medal in an Olympic final for the first time since 2000, when he swam just one race in Sydney as a 15-year-old.

In the interim, Phelps had won six gold and two bronze in Athens, and of course his vaunted eight golds in eight events in Beijing.

"They swam a better race than me, they swam a smarter race than me and that is why they are on the podium," Phelps said.

The flop denied Phelps in his first bid to become the first male swimmer to win the same event at three successive Olympics. He'll have a chance at trebles in the 100m and 200m butterfly and the 200m medley, but Japanese breaststroker Kosuke Kitajima kept his shot at the achievement alive with the sixth-fastest time in the semi-finals of the 100m breaststroke.

Australia, long the Americans' greatest swimming rivals, won a dogfight for the 4x100m freestyle gold ahead of Beijing champions the Netherlands and the United States.

Alicia Coutts, Cate Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlanger clocked an Olympic record of 3:33.15, just holding off a Dutch team of Inge Dekker, Marleen Veldhuis, Femke Heemskerk and rising freestyle sprint star Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

The Dutch took silver in 3:33.79 with the US quartet of Missy Franklin, Jessica Hardy, Lia Neal and Allison Schmitt earning bronze in 3:34.24.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Is your home on top of a faultline?
    Is your home on top of a faultline?

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanoly and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently issued an updated and high-resolution "atlas" of the East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault, two major faultlines that run through sections of Metro Manila. Metro Manila may be due for a 7.2-magnitude earthquake within this lifetime, say experts from the institute, among them PHIVOLCS director Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. According to records, the last major earthquake caused by the West Valley Fault took place 357 years …

  • Filipina maid photographs "modern slavery" in Hong Kong

    By Emma Batha LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A Filipina maid in Hong Kong has published stark photographs of burned and beaten domestic workers to highlight the "modern slavery" she says has long been the city's shameful secret. "Hong Kong is a very modern, successful city but people treat their helpers like slaves," said Xyza Cruz Bacani, whose black and white portraits won her a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to start studying at New York University this month. It's common …

  • Want to buy a brand new car?
    Want to buy a brand new car?

    Tired of fixing your old car? Maybe, this is the best time for you to invest a brand new car. BPI Family Savings Bank, the country’s leading consumer bank, is extending its newest campaign “Bagong Kotse, 1-Month Libre” promo until June 30, 2015 which allows potential car buyers to avail of a car loan term up […] The post Want to buy a brand new car? appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’
    ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

    The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local …

  • Lawmakers to review building code provisions
    Lawmakers to review building code provisions

    Lawmakers are set to review provisions of the National Building Code and Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, to strengthen contingencies and policies to prepare the country for possible major earthquakes. The move came following proposals from Reps. Winston Castelo of Quezon City and Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list to review the two laws and other regulations during a hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development on the …

  • Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms
    Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms

    The Philippines’ attaining first world status may soon be imminent if significant reforms initiated by the current administration would be consistently pursued, President Aquino suggested yesterday. “Kung madidiligan ang ating mga pinunla, at makaka-graduate ang mga pinag-aaral natin upang makapasok sa maaayos na trabaho, baka po tuluyan nang nasa first world status tayo sa panahong iyon (If we water the seeds sown and those we sent to school will find better jobs, then time will come that …

  • Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions
    Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions

    The Philippines will not recognize restrictions on air and sea travel set by China in the West Philippine Sea, President Aquino said yesterday. “We will still fly the routes that we fly based on international law and the various conventions, agreements that have been entered into through various decades,” Aquino told reporters in an ambush interview after inspecting the Marikina Elementary School in preparation for the opening of classes in June. But he expressed confidence that China would …

  • Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June
    Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June

    Filipinos may have to wait until the second or third week of June for rain, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday. Rene Paciente, chief of PAGASA’s marine meteorological services section, said they expect the rainy season to start in the second or third week of June. The criteria for declaring the onset of the rainy season include the prevalence of the southwest monsoon and the 25-millimeter rainfall recorded in at least five …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options