Men’s 400m free: Sun Yang (CHN) revalidates world title

Kazan 2015 - SW

Winner two years ago in Barcelona (ESP), Sun Yang (CHN), the Olympic champion in this event, was also the fastest qualifier in the heats, and in the decisive race he imposed his fast finish, touching home in 3:42.58. It was Sun’s 10th medal (and sixth gold) at this level, his first success dating back to 2009 in Rome (ITA), when he was bronze medallist in the 1500m free.

His victory performance was, however, distant from the World Record held by Germany’s Paul Biedermann since Rome 2009, in a time of 3:40.07. Sun’s result is the fastest of 2015 – Mack Horton (AUS) had performed 3:42.84 in April, but here in Kazan was only the 11th of the heats.

Sun Yang (CHN) - Photo credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

The main contender of the Chinese champion was James Guy, from Great Britain, who led the race until the 300m-mark (even swimming under WR pace for the first 200m), and eventually took the silver in 3:43.75. It is the best result for Guy (still 19 years old) at this level, after a bronze in the same distance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and a fifth place in Barcelona 2013.

The bronze went to experienced Ryan Cochrane, from Canada, in 3:44.59. This is the seventh medal at Worlds for the 26-year-old native of Victoria, who also climbed twice in the podium at the Olympics, in his pet event, the 1500m free.


Sun Yang (CHN, gold): "It was almost the toughest race of my life - as I had to overcome so many obstacles in the past year, which was the most difficult period of my career. Today I felt great, especially in the last hundred metres, I felt tremendous power inside and it's so great now".

Ryan Cochrane (CAN, bronze): "It was not my best time, but it's nice to be on the podium. I worked for ten years to grab a medal at last!"

World Record:
Paul Biedermann (GER), 3:40.07 – July 26, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Championships Record: Paul Biedermann (GER), 3:40.07 – July 26, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2015): Sun Yang (CHN), 3:42.58 – August, Kazan (RUS)
2005-2013 winners in this event: 2005 – Grant Hackett (AUS, 3:42.91); 2007 – Tae-Hwan Park (KOR, 3:44.30); 2009 – Paul Biedermann (GER, 3:40.07); 2011 – Tae-Hwan Park (KOR, 3:42.04); 2013 – Sun Yang (CHN, 3:41.59)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Ian Thorpe (AUS, 1998, 2001 & 2003)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. Sun Yang (CHN, 3:40.14), 2. Tae-Hwan Park (KOR, 3:42.06), 3. Peter Vanderkaay (USA, 3:44.69)