QINGDAO, China, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo Olympic champions Zhang Yufei, Wang Shun, Li Bingjie and 2012 London Olympic champion Ye Shiwen will compete in the Chinese National Spring Swimming Championships during March 19-24 here in Qingdao, east China's Shandong province.
Zhang, who won the women's 200m butterfly and 4x200m freestyle relay gold medals and finished runner-up in the 100m butterfly and mixed 4x100m medley relay at the Tokyo Olympic Games, said she expected to improve in her "lucky pool" in Qingdao.
"It was my sixth time competing here, and last time I broke the world record, Asian record and national record in different events here in 2020. It was my lucky pool, and I hope I can swim faster this time," Zhang said.
Wang Shun, the men's 200m individual medley champion and Li Bingjie, a member of the winning women's 4X200m freestyle relay team, will show up in their favorite events.
Ye Shiwen, who won two golds in women's medley events in the 2012 London Olympic Games, will make her first return since 2020. "I have only just returned to the pool for a few months, and I can not expect too much of myself. My goal is to try to qualify for the Asian Games in my hometown Hangzhou later in September," Ye said.
35-year-old veteran Wu Peng, the 2007 world runner-up in men's 200m butterfly, will also make his return in the 50m butterfly and aim to secure a spot in the Asian Games.
The six-day meet, which serves as the first of two-leg qualifications for the upcoming Fukuoka World Championships and Asian Games, attracts 672 swimmers from 26 teams. The second leg will be held in May. ■