Fri, 29 Oct 2021

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Unrelenting pursuit of better results and emerging upstarts motivate Chinese swimmers to work harder, as records have been kept lowering at the 14th National Games.

XI'AN, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- "1:54.26!" As the commentator announced the new national record in the women's 200m individual freestyle, warm applause and cheers thundered around the swimming pool.

Tokyo Olympic medalist Tang Muhan renewed China's national record in the event, beating Yang Junxuan of Shandong Province at China's 14th National Games here on Wednesday.

"Records were set to be broken," said Yang, who has also lowered the national record to 1:54.37 in the women's 4x200m freestyle relay at the Tokyo Olympics.

"The more competitive the National Games are, the better we will be prepared for future international events," added Yang.

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Like Yang, many of China's elite swimmers are happy that more records are lowered by younger athletes. For them, the unrelenting pursuit of better results and the emerging upstarts motivate them to work harder.

"I hope Chinese swimmers can always take the gold medal in the women's 200m individual freestyle at international events," said double Olympic gold medalist Ye Shiwen of Zhejiang.

For many young swimmers in China, Ye is their role model.

"I have been looking up to Ye for years, and she is like an older sister of mine," said 16-year-old Yu Yiting of Zhejiang.

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Also on Wednesday, Yu surpassed Ye to win the women's 200m individual medley. "Ye kept telling me to go all out in the event," said Yu, "She made me realize that the key to better results is to beat myself."

"I hope that I can take Ye's role in the future. To this end, I will be patient and make more efforts to prepare for next year's Asian Games and the 2024 Paris Olympics," added Yu.

Ye said seeing younger athletes achieve good results at the National Games makes her proud of the Chinese swimming team.

"I hope all the young swimmers can calm themselves down and never rush to achievements, so that they won't get stressed out and can benefit more from every event," said 25-year-old Ye. (by Zhao Xuetong, Chen Chen, Li Linhai)

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