Sun at the 2014 Asian Games
|Nickname(s)||Sun Mengmeng, Dabai|
1 December 1991|
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
|Height||2.00 m (6 ft 7 in)|
|Weight||92 kg (203 lb)|
|Club||Zhejiang Swimming Team|
Sun Yang (Chinese: 孙杨; pinyin: Sūn Yáng; Mandarin pronunciation: [swə́n.jǎŋ]; born 1 December 1991) is a Chinese Olympic and world-record-holding competitive swimmer. In 2012, he became the first Chinese man to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming. Sun is the first male swimmer in history to earn Olympic and World Championship gold medals at every freestyle distance from 200 metres to 1500 metres. A three-time Olympic gold medalist and nine-time world champion, he is also the most decorated Chinese swimmer in history. NBC Sports described Sun as "very arguably the greatest freestyle swimmer of all time."
Sun competed for China at the 2008 Summer Olympics. At the 2010 Asian Games, he won the 1500 metre freestyle, setting an Asian record; he was subsequently named Rookie of the Year at the 2010 CCTV Sports Awards. At the 2011 World Championships, Sun broke the world record in the 1500 metre freestyle previously held by Grant Hackett in 2001, which had been the longest-held world record in swimming and the only men's swimming world record to not have been beaten during the techsuit era. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sun won gold medals in the 400 and 1500 metre freestyle. At the 2013 World Championships, he became the first swimmer since Hackett, and the second in history, to win gold medals in all three long distance freestyle events (400, 800, and 1500 metre) in a single World Championships. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Sun won a gold medal in the 200 metre freestyle and a silver medal in the 400 metre freestyle. By winning the 200 metre freestyle, Sun became the first swimmer in history to win Olympic gold medals in the 200, 400, and 1500 metre freestyle events.
In May 2014, Sun was banned for three months by the Chinese Swimming Association after testing positive for the then-stimulant trimetazidine, which had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list four months earlier. Sun stated that he was prescribed the trimetazidine by a doctor to treat heart palpitations he has suffered since 2008, and was unaware that it had been newly added to the banned substances list. Although Sun was eligible to file the drug for a medical exception due to his heart condition, he did not do so.
Sun's international breakthrough occurred at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. At the age of 16, Sun placed 28th in the 400 metre freestyle, unable to reach the final. He later placed 7th in the qualifying heats of the 1500 metre freestyle, reaching the final but ultimately placing last in it. Sun rebounded from this the following year, at the 2009 World Championships, where he would go on to win his first international medal, a bronze, in the 1500 metre freestyle with a time of 14:46.84. He also placed 18th in the 400 metre freestyle with a time of 3:47.51.
2010 Asian GamesEdit
|2010 Asian Games|
|1500 m freestyle||14:35.43 (AR)|
|4×200 m freestyle||7:07.68 (GR)|
|200 m freestyle||1:46.25|
|400 m freestyle||3:42.47|
Sun reached further success during the 2010 Asian Games. There, Sun won gold medals in the 1500 metre freestyle and the 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay, and silver medals in the 200 metre and 400 metre freestyle. His 1500 metre freestyle time of 14:35.43 was a new Asian record and the second fastest time in history, second only to Grant Hackett, whose record Sun would later surpass the following year.
2011 World Aquatics ChampionshipsEdit
|2011 World Championships|
|800 m freestyle||7:38.57|
|1500 m freestyle||14:34.14 (WR)|
|400 m freestyle||3:43.24|
|4×200 m freestyle||7:04.74|
On the first day of competition, Sun placed second in the 400 metre freestyle, losing to South Korean Park Tae-hwan with a time of 3:43.24. Three days later, Sun would go on to win his first World Championship title in the 800 metre freestyle with a time of 7:38.57. After a day of rest, he would go on to anchor the Chinese team to a bronze medal in the 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay. On the final day of competition, Sun competed in the 1500 metre freestyle. He won the race with a time of 14:34.14, ten seconds ahead of the rest of the competition. At the age of 19, Sun broke the world record previously set by Hackett, 14:34.56, which stood for ten years before Sun's feat.
2012 Summer OlympicsEdit
|Olympic medal record|
|2012 London – Men's Swimming|
|400 m freestyle||3.40.14 (OR)|
|1500 m freestyle||14.31.02 (WR)|
|200 m freestyle||1.44.93|
|4×200 m freestyle||7.06.30|
Coming into the Games, Sun was considered a favorite in the 400 metre and 1500 metre freestyle, as well as a medal contender in the 200 metre freestyle. In his first event, the 400 metre freestyle, Sun won the gold medal with a time of 3:40.14, becoming the first Chinese male swimmer to win a gold medal at the Olympics. His time was also the third fastest in history, 0.07 seconds away from the world record, and a new Asian record. After a day of rest, Sun competed in the 200 metre freestyle. In the final, he won a silver medal, tying with Park Tae-hwan with a time of 1:44.93, a new national record. The following day, Sun would anchor the Chinese team to a bronze in the 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay, their first ever in the event.
After the relay, Sun would not be back in the pool until the final day of competition, where he would compete in his best event, the 1500 metre freestyle. After easily breezing into the final as the fastest qualifier, it seemed as though he would win by a longshot. At the initial line-up on the starting blocks, a step-down command was issued due to noises from the crowd, but instead of stepping back, Sun reacted by diving in. The officials ruled that the early dive was due to fan noise and did not constitute a false start, and Sun was allowed to continue in the competition. He went on to win the race in a time of 14:31.02, a new world record by over 3 seconds and over 8 seconds ahead of second-place finisher, Canadian Ryan Cochrane. These results made Sun the most successful Chinese male swimmer in Olympic history, and the first swimmer to win the 400/1500 double since Vladimir Salnikov at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Sun completed the final 50 metres of the race in 25.68 seconds, nearly two seconds faster than second-place finisher Cochrane.
2013 World Aquatics ChampionshipsEdit
|2013 World Championships|
|400 m freestyle||3:41.59|
|800 m freestyle||7:41.36|
|1500 m freestyle||14:41.15|
|4×200 m freestyle||7:04.74|
Sun was back in action at the 2013 World Championships. On the first day of competition, Sun improved on his silver showing at the last World Championships by winning gold in the 400 metre freestyle with a time of 3:41.59. While it was nearly a second and a half off his Olympic winning time from the previous year, he was still over three seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Kosuke Hagino of Japan. Two days later, Sun was able to retain his title in the 800 metre freestyle with a time of 7:41.36. It was his second gold medal in the Championship and the 100th gold medal won by China in World Aquatics Championships history.
On day six of the competition, Sun was given the task of anchoring the team for the 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay. China barely slid into the final at eighth place, but many thought Sun would be a huge benefit to the team, as China were the previous bronze medalists in this event at the last World Championships. Going into the final leg, China was in fifth, over two seconds behind France and Japan. This difference in time meant it would take a huge leg to pass these teams for the bronze medal, but Sun was able to overtake both teams in the end with a time of 1:43.16; this time was the second-fastest in history and 1.82 seconds better than the other 31 swimmers, including Ryan Lochte and Yannick Agnel. Even taking the relay exchange out of this time, it was still over a second faster than his flat start time of 1:44.93.
On the final day of the competition, Sun maintained his title as Olympic and World Champion in the 1500 metre freestyle by beating Ryan Cochrane once again, in a time 10 seconds slower than his world record finish in 2012 Olympics. By doing so, Sun became the first swimmer since Australian Grant Hackett, and the second in history, to win all three long distance gold medals in freestyle (400, 800, and 1500 metre) in a single World Championships.
A month after the World Championships, Sun competed in China's 12th National Games, which are held every four years. At this competition, Sun was vying to become the first man to win seven gold medals at a single championship. To do this, he added the 100 metre freestyle to his repertoire, typically an event reserved for sprinters. With the games holding the same schedule as the Olympics, he first competed in the 400 metre freestyle, winning in 3:43.68, over a second ahead of Hao Yun. The following day, he won the 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay event, swimming the anchor leg in 48.14 seconds. He followed his performances the next day by setting a new Asian record in the 200 metre freestyle with a time of 1:44.47, about half a second faster than his time in London. This time was a follow up to the 1:43.16 anchor leg he had swum on the 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay the 2013 World Championships. He showed his versatility the next day when he won bronze in the 100 metre freestyle, getting under 49 seconds for the first time with a time of 48.94 seconds.
Sun had lost a month of his stipend and was barred from competitive events beginning in early November for an indefinite time, after it was discovered that he was driving without a license following a fender-bender in which a bus rear-ended a relative's Porsche Cayenne that he was illegally operating. He later made a public apology, stating that he "should have been a role model as an athlete and public figure ... but failed in my responsibility".
|2014 World Cup, Beijing|
|400 m freestyle||3:37.10|
|2014 Asian Games|
|400 m freestyle||3:43.23|
|1500 m freestyle||14:49.75|
|4×100 m freestyle||3:13.47 (AR)|
|200 m freestyle||1:45.28|
In May 2014, Sun was banned for three months by the Chinese Swimming Association after testing positive for the then-stimulant trimetazidine, which had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list four months earlier. The substance is prohibited in-competition only; the ingestion of trimetazidine by an athlete out-of-competition "is inconsequential", and constitutes illicit behavior only if the same athlete later participates in competition before the substance clears their system.
Sun stated that he was prescribed the trimetazidine by a doctor to treat heart palpitations he has suffered since 2008, and was unaware that it had been newly added to the banned substances list. Although Sun was eligible to file the drug for a medical exception due to his heart condition, he did not do so. In January 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency reclassified and downgraded trimetazidine from "stimulant" to "modulator of cardiac metabolism". The drug, however, remains a banned substance as of 2016.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) admonished the Chinese Swimming Association for not publicly announcing Sun's penalty in a timely manner. Nonetheless, WADA, which has a right of appeal if it perceives a sanction to be light, elected not to proceed further after reviewing the case file. "Sun proved with sufficient evidence that he did not intend to cheat, which helped reduce his ban to three months," CHINADA (China Anti-Doping Agency) deputy director Zhao Jia said. One Australian writer opined that the punishment was lenient, but also admitted that "Yang [was not] found to have doped intentionally". In the ensuing fallout, Sun was stripped of his win in the 1500 metre freestyle at the Chinese nationals. Swimming Australia ordered coach Denis Cotterell to stop working with Sun, and Sun was no longer allowed to practice at Swimming Australia's official training centers, although Sun still trains in Australia.
2014 China Spring NationalsEdit
Sun made a comeback in his first post-suspension event in the 2014 China Spring Nationals, where he won a gold medal in the men's 200 metre freestyle.
|2015 World Championships|
|400 m freestyle||3:42.58|
|800 m freestyle||7:39.96|
|200 m freestyle||1:45.20|
At the 2015 World Championships, Sun won gold medals in the 400 metre and 800 metre freestyle, as well as a silver medal in the 200 metre freestyle. In the 1500 metre freestyle, in which he was the two-time defending champion, Sun withdrew from the competition, later citing heart problems during warm-up. "I feel very sorry that I couldn’t be present for the 1500m," Sun told reporters. "I didn’t feel good in my heart. Today I felt really uncomfortable at the pool during my warm-up and I had to give up the idea of competing. I feel really sorry about that."
At the World Championships, Sun was accused by Brazilian coaches of assaulting one of their female swimmers, Larissa Oliveira. Brazil team spokeswoman Eliana Alves told the Associated Press that there was "contact" between Sun and Oliveira, "but it was not a fight". Swimming's world governing body, FINA, later cleared Sun of any wrongdoing. FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu explained that the altercation that led to a complaint against Sun was the result of overcongestion in the warmup pool, and did not warrant further action. According to Marculescu, there were over 1,000 swimmers present, so the preparation pool became very crowded.
2016 Summer OlympicsEdit
|Olympic medal record|
|2016 Rio de Janeiro – Men's Swimming|
|200 m freestyle||1:44.65|
|400 m freestyle||3:41.68|
At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Sun won a gold medal in the 200 metre freestyle, his first major international title in this event. He also won a silver medal in the 400 metre freestyle, finishing 0.13 seconds behind Mack Horton of Australia. Sun finished 16th in the qualifying heats of the 1500 metre freestyle. By winning the 200 metre freestyle, Sun became the first swimmer in history to win Olympic gold medals in the 200, 400, and 1500 metre freestyle events.
The lead-up to the 400 metre freestyle was marred by controversy. Sun was accused of splashing water into rival Horton's face during practice. Horton accused Sun of attempting to distract him, while Sun and Xu Qi, the Chinese swim team manager, denied the allegations and stated that it must have been a misunderstanding. Horton responded to this incident by twice accusing Sun of being a "drug cheat", in reference to his 2014 suspension. Horton's social media pages received negative criticism from Chinese fans, with many deriding the Australian as a racist, a "snake", and a "disrespectful person". The head of China's Olympic organization requested an apology for the allegation, stating that Horton's claims "have greatly damaged sporting ties between China and Australia, and damaged the image of Australian athletes"; the request was turned down. Further controversy arose when the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper, offered scathing editorials attacking the country of Australia. Conversely, an op-ed piece from another Chinese newspaper, Changjiang Daily, called for calm and indicated that the dispute was only between the two athletes and should not become a conflict between the two countries.
- 2006 National Winter Championships – 1st 400 metre/1500 metre freestyle;
- 2006 National Marathon Swimming Tournament – 1st 10 kilometre freestyle;
- 2007 National Champions Tournament – 2nd 400 metre/1500 metre freestyle;
- 2007 National Championships – 1st 1500 metre freestyle;
- 2007 National Intercity Games – 1st 1500 metre freestyle;
- 2008 "Good Luck Beijing" Swimming Olympic Qualification – 2nd 400 metre freestyle
- 2008 Olympics – 28th 400 metre freestyle, 8th 1500 metre freestyle
- 2009 World Championships – 3rd 1500 metre freestyle
- 2010 Asian Games – 1st 1500 metre freestyle (Asian Record)
- 2011 World Aquatics Championships – 1st 1500 metre freestyle (World Record), 1st 800 metre freestyle, 2nd 400 metre freestyle
- 2012 Summer Olympics – 1st 400 metre freestyle (Olympic Record), 1st 1500 metre freestyle (World Record), 2nd 200 metre freestyle
- 2013 World Aquatics Championships – 1st 400 metre freestyle, 1st 800 metre freestyle, 1st 1500 metre freestyle
- 2014 Asian Games – 1st 400 metre freestyle, 1st 1500 metre freestyle, 2nd 200 metre freestyle
- 2015 World Aquatics Championships – 1st 400 metre freestyle, 1st 800 metre freestyle, 2nd 200 metre freestyle
- 2016 Summer Olympics – 1st 200 metre freestyle, 2nd 400 metre freestyle
Personal bests (long course)Edit
|100 m freestyle||48.94||Shenyang||8 September 2013|
|200 m freestyle||1:44.39||Budapest||25 July 2017||NR, AS|
|400 m freestyle||3:40.14||London||28 July 2012||OR, AS, NR|
|800 m freestyle||7:38.57||Shanghai||27 July 2011|
|1500 m freestyle||14:31.02||London||4 August 2012||WR, OR, AS, NR|
Key: AS = Asian Record, NR = National Record, WR = World Record, OR = Olympic Record
On 3 November 2013, Sun Yang was found driving without a license following an accident in Hangzhou. He was ordered to be detained for 7 days by the police and fined 5000 yuan. On 6 November, the State General Administration of Sports published a statement saying that Sun was temporarily banned from any business-related activities, the national team swimming camp, and any competitions. On 24 April 2014, Sun had his endorsement and business-related ban lifted as a result of "good behavior".
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- 13th FINA World Championships 17 July - 2 August 2009 Rome (ITA)
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| Men's 1500 metre freestyle
world record holder (long course)
31 July 2011 – present
| Pacific Rim Swimmer of the Year
2011 – 2013
| Best new people of CCTV Sports Personality of the Year
| Best male player of CCTV Sports Personality of the Year
| World Swimmer of the Year