I watched the swimming in the Olympics only knowing Wu Peng, but then this cutie grabbed my attention when he got silver in the 400 m freestyle…only 0.58 seconds behind Park Taehwan. Even though he was sad about his loss, he was so adorable in the videos, and looked like actor Tong Dawei, except so much sweeter and cuter…and now you know why I watch sports. But, he really was one of my favorites at the Games (not an easy thing considering I loved the entire Chinese gymnastics, diving and badminton, men’s volleyball, etc teams). And now at the World Championships in Italy he dominated in the 800m race, beating second place by a full three seconds.
Article from Yahoo news:
Zhang Lin made the first World Championships swimming gold for a Chinese man one to remember here on Wednesday, demolishing Aussie great‘s world record in winning the 800m freestyle.
Zhang sliced six-and-a-half seconds off the previous world record of 7:38.65, set by Hackett at the 2005 World Championships in Montreal. That was the first time the event was swum by men in world competition.
“I’m more than five seconds quicker than Hackett’s record and I’m still surprised,” Zhang said. “I can’t believe it.”
Zhang seized the lead from Tunisia’s Olympic 1500m free championat the 200m mark and never gave it back.
Less than three-tenths of a second separated them with 100m to go, but despite the blazing pace Zhang had enough on the final lap to pull away for a convincing victory.
Mellouli, the defending 800m free world champion, was also under Hackett’s previous world record, but his 7:35.27 was good enough only for silver.
Canadian Ryan Cochrane was third in 7:41.92.
As in Beijing, Zhang teared up at the medals ceremony, but he said the emotions flowing through him were different this time around.
“At the Olympics I cried tears of sadness because I lost the gold medal but this time they were tears of joy because this is the first World Championship gold medal for a Chinese man,” he said.
After that painful 400m free defeat in Beijing, Zhang said, he put a picture of Park in his room and looked at it every day for motivation. Now he might expand his gallery.
“Maybe I’ll put another one of Hackett in my room because he’s my idol,” Zhang said. (Awww)
Zhang admitted he was nervous before the race. Park’s sensational failure to reach the 400m free final had put Asian hopes on Zhang’s shoulders. He finished third in a race in which German Paul Biedermann bagged the gold ahead of Mellouli.
“Before the final I told my coach that I don’t know how to swim, I felt a lot of pressure,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting to win this, now I hope I can win the 1500m.”
Note: There’s controversy over the use of the sleaker, newer swimsuits that make people go faster. But he didn’t wear one in the 400m race, while the opponent, Biederman did. If he did wear it, he could have probably won, considering he was second in that race in the Olympics, and Park Taehwan, who won it, failed to qualify for the race.
For the 800 m race both he and second place Mellouli wore it, but Zhang still got ahead by a whole 3 seconds.
(disclaimer: events may not have occurred in this order)
He makes both the shirt and the suit look good…
Muscles all ready for the race…
Swimming his little heart out
Just out fo the water, wondering what his time is…
Sees the time, and BAM, he gets all FIERCE for the first time in his life.
Amusement parks tire the athletes out…
And when he was even younger he got to meet spongebob. So precious.
And two pics of poor cutie Wu Peng…who was good, and was actually more promoted than Zhang Lin prior to the Olympics, but hasn’t got nothing so far. It’s okay, Wu Peng. You’re still the third best looking on the Chinese swim team.