|Is it only a matter of time before this is the world's best swimmer?|
This year we're off to our earliest ever start. It's only January, and no significant trials competitions have yet been held. That's what makes it scarier than last year. Over the weekend a small group of Chinese swimmers blew the hinges off in an Australian meet.
The intrepid Craig Lord has a report on the meet, although I'll sum it up in a much more digestible form. Sun Yang (you're supposed to remember his name now since he broke the world record in the 1500) went 3:42 400 free. Behind him an 18 year old named Li Yunqi (3:45.49) and a 16 year old named Hao Yun (3:45.69).
How fast is that? The fastest American of any age last year was Peter Vanderkaay, barely ahead of the two teenagers with a 3:44.83. The fastest American 18 year olds were both 3:51.
Let that simmer for a moment- there is now an event where the Chinese men (!!!) have not only arguably the best swimmer, but also way better youngsters than the US. I guess that's why the panic feels more real this year than ever. Amazingly, Craig refused to speculate about whether the Chinese swimmers were part of an evil, systematic doping program. Cue the troll posting under the name "Predicta57" on TSC:
"East Germany X 10"