Qingdao, China, May 4 (Xinhua) – 15-year-old Yu Yiting renewed the world junior mark twice in the women’s 200m individual medley in two days at the Chinese National Swimming Championships.
“I smiled for so long that my jaw hurt,” said the Ningbo jawan who was still smiling.
Yu, who won the 200m individual medal from beginning to end on Tuesday, scored 2: 09.64 for the gold medal and set the world’s sixth best new junior record this year.
Earlier on Sunday, Yu warmed up at 2: 09.88, replacing the previous mark of 2: 09.98 by Rikkio Iki of Japan in 2017.
“I was under no pressure before the finals because my coach told me to follow my heart and pace in the finals. I entered the national team late last year and had more physical training and it helped me a lot “But my weakness is the backstroke, where I really need to improve,” Yu said.
Yu started swimming when she was eight years old and joined the Zhejiang Provincial Team only two years later. According to his coach Wang Haibo, Yu has good physical ability, great strength, strong self-control ability and clear mind.
In late 2020, Yu was selected to the national team. She has strengthened her physical training and now swims around 7,000 meters during each water session. “Training with the national team is much more organized,” Yu said. “My strength and physical fitness have improved a lot. My core strength is fine, but long distance running is my weakness.”
Training with the national team is very intensive, which usually lasts from 6:50 am to 9 am, with eating, training, rest and massage every day. Yu’s biggest wish is “just to sleep.”
Yu believes he is “extrovert and fun in the team.” “But I really practice a lot every day; sometimes I can even cry,” Yu said. “But no matter how much I cry, I still have to continue swimming.”
Her idols are Katinka Hoszu, the Hungarian world record holder, and Ye Shiven. “How ‘Sister Ye’ came back from her career highs inspired me a lot,” Yu said. “She encourages me a lot of times. She told me that I can do it and I have made it within 2 minutes and 10 seconds!”
Postponing the Tokyo Olympics for a year became a rare opportunity for young Yu. “I didn’t even think about the Olympics a year ago,” she said. “Expansion gives me more time to train. My goal for the Olympics is to improve myself, train well and do well.”