Athletes from China and Japan were in great shape in the second and last leg of the 2020 edition of the FINA Champions Swim Series, taking place in Beijing (CHN) on January 18-19. The local stars, as with the first stop of the circuit in Shenzhen (CHN, January 14-15), left the Ying Dong Natatorium venue of the Chinese capital with nine titles, while the hosts of this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo earned five gold medals. 

Superstar Sun Yang did not disappoint his fans in the 200m and 400m free, with Xu Jiayu (100m back), and Yan Zibei (100m breast) completing the set of Chinese victories in the men’s category. From the Japanese side, Ryosuke Irie (100m and 200m back), Ippei Watanabe (200m breast), and Daiya Seto (200m fly and 200m IM) were also the athletes to beat in their respective events.

Sill among men, 2019 FINA Swimming World Cup winner Vladimir Morozov (RUS) was the fastest in the 50m and 100m free, Brazilians Joao Gomes Jr (50m breast) and Nicholas Santos (50m fly) were also consistent, and Matthew Temple gave the sole gold of the entire Series for Australia, in the 100m fly.

In the women’s field, China’s Liu Xiang imposed her class in the 50m free and 50m back, while teammates Yu Jingyao (100m and 200m breast) and Yang Junxuan (200m free) completed China’s harvest. 

Hungary earned three titles, with Ajna Kesely (400m free), Katinka Hosszu (200m back) and Liliana Szilagyi (200m fly) shining for the Magyar side. The Netherlands had also good reasons to celebrate in Beijing, with Kira Toussaint (100m back) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (50m fly) appearing in excellent shape.

The remaining titles among women went to Siobhan Haughey (HKG) in the 100m free, to Molly Hannis (USA) in the 50m breast, to Elena Di Liddo (ITA) in the 100m fly, and to Sydney Pickrem (CAN) in the 200m IM.

Athletes from 21 nations earned podium positions in Beijing, with 11 of them getting at least one gold medal: China (9), Japan (5), Hungary (3), Netherlands, Russia, USA and Brazil (all with two gold each), Italy, Hong Kong (China), Canada and Australia (with one title apiece).

At the conclusion of the successful 2020 Champions Swim Series in Beijing, FINA invited participating athletes and coaches for a meeting, where they could provide their feedback and give suggestions for the subsequent editions of the event. 

A total of 70 athletes from 26 National Federations were invited to take part in this year’s edition of the competition. Together, they had earned a total of 59 Olympic and 163 World Championships’ medals.

Winners in Beijing (CHN): 

50m free – Men: Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 21.55; Women: Liu Xiang (CHN), 24.03

100m free – Men: Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 48.32; Women: Siobhan Haughey (HKG), 53.33

200m free – Men: Sun Yang (CHN), 1:45.55; Women: Yang Junxuan (CHN), 1:54.98

400m free – Men: Sun Yang (CHN), 3:44.98; Women: Ajna Kesely (HUN), 4:09.10 

50m back – Men: Michael Andrew (USA), 24.92; Women: Liu Xiang (CHN), 27.58

100m back – Men: Xu Jiayu (CHN) & Ryosuke Irie (JPN), 52.97; Women: Kira Toussaint (NED), 59.64

200m back – Men: Ryosuke Irie (JPN), 1:55.55; Women: Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2:09.95

50m breast – Men: Joao Gomes Jr (BRA), 27.08; Women: Molly Hannis (USA), 30.34

100m breast – Men: Yan Zibei (CHN), 58.83; Women: Yu Jingyao (CHN)), 1:07.18

200m breast – Men: Ippei Watanabe (JPN), 2:08.40; Women: Yu Jingyao (CHN), 2:24.52

50m fly – Men: Nicholas Santos (BRA), 22.95; Women: Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 25.91

100m fly – Men: Matthew Temple (AUS), 51.71; Women: Elena Di Liddo (ITA), 58.09

200m fly – Men: Daiya Seto (JPN), 1:52.53; Women: Liliana Szilagyi (HUN), 2:08.37

200m IM – Men: Daiya Seto (JPN), 1:55.55; Women: Sydney Pickrem (CAN), 2:09.26

4x100m free mixed: Team Andrew – Michael Andrew (USA), Andrei Minakov (RUS), Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), Wang Jianjiahe (CHN), 3:29.72

4x100m medley mixed: Team Liu – Liu Yaxin (CHN, W), Yan Zibei (CHN, M), Andrei Minakov (RUS, M), Wang Jianjiahe (CHN, W), 3:49.19