After failing to finish in the top five of the overall medal count in Eindhoven, this decorated squad will be on a mission to win more medals and repeat their outstanding successes in London.
The People’s Republic of China is well represented heading into the August International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada, with a team of 20 swimmers - all 2012 Paralympic medalists - set to compete.
As a team at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, the athletes donning red and gold from China won 24 gold, 13 silver and 21 bronze medals to finish atop the swimming standings, ahead of Australia and Ukraine. With top talent preparing to swim against the best in the world for the first time since London, China looks to build on their successes and finish near the top of medal count after seven days of swimming.
IPC One to Watch Qing Xu, is slated to race in the men’s 50m butterfly S6, 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle, as well as the men’s 200m individual medley SM6, all events which he won gold in at London 2012. Xu is a veteran to the sport, and he also owns four medals - three gold and one bronze - from the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. When the world championships were last held in 2010 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Xu picked up a gold medal in the Men’s 50m butterfly S6 and silver in the 50m freestyle.
Yinan Wang won five medals in London last year, including gold in the men’s 100m freestyle S8 and the 400m freestyle, and a bronze medal in the 50m freestyle. Wang also picked up two relay medals. In Montreal, he will be swimming the three individual events where he picked up medals, aiming to go three-for-three again.
Three athletes, Shiyun Pan, Yang Yang and Tao Zheng, all picked up four medals apiece in London in their respective events.
Pan will be swimming in all four of his medal events, including the men’s 50m butterfly S7 and 100m freestyle, where he won gold in London. His other two events, the 50m freestyle S7 and the 400m freestyle, earned him silver.
Of the four events Yang is scheduled to swim, he has been golden in each of them. He will swim the 50m backstroke S2 and 100m freestyle, as well as the 200m freestyle S3 and 50m freestyle, and will seek to maintain his dominance in each after capturing gold in these four events in London.
Zheng also earned four podium finishes in London in the events he plans to swim: Men’s 100m backstroke S6, 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle, as well as the Men’s 200m individual medley SM6.
Shengnan Jiang captured three bronze medals in London and will be swimming those events in Montreal (women’s 100m butterfly S8, 50m freestyle S8, 200m individual medley SM8), plus the 100m freestyle S8. Jiang won a gold medal in the 50m freestyle S8 three years ago in Eindhoven, and she looks to defend that title.
Though Lingling Song only has one gold medal to her name, her focus may be on winning another - her first individual gold.
Song earned a silver (100m breaststroke S6) and a bronze (400m freestyle S6) in London, but she also owns a pair of individual medals from Eindhoven. It is likely that Song will want to improve on her 400m freestyle silver and 100m freestyle bronze from 2010.
With such a strong team, it is no doubt that China will be a country to contend with in Montreal. After failing to finish in the top five of the overall medal count in Eindhoven, this decorated squad will be on a mission to win more medals and repeat their outstanding successes in London.
Tickets for the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships are still available. The competition will begin in just over one week in Montreal, Canada (12-18 August). Featuring around 500 swimmers from nearly 60 countries, it will be the biggest gathering of international swimmers since London 2012.