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Tokyo 2020: Sun Yang not at China Nationals but could still swim at Olympic Games

by ZwemZa on May 2nd, 2021

China’s Sun Yang poses with his gold medal on the podium after he won the men’s 200m freestyle final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Photo: AFP

China’s star swimmer Sun Yang will not swim at the Chinese Nationals, despite reports that he would return to the pool for the first time since the 2019 World Championships.

The official athlete list was shared on Weibo by CCTV-5 sports reporter Sun Xiaoxue on Thursday, the day before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying event in Qingdao, Shandong province.

This followed a post earlier in the day from the Zhejiang Provincial Sports Bureau that did not list Sun among their swimmers.

The Nationals, which take place until May 8, will be followed by another event for swimmers to meet their Olympic qualification benchmarks in early June, as per a Chinese Swimming Association statement reported by China News Service in March.

Sun is currently eligible to swim again after his eight-year ban from CAS, which was handed down in February last year following the November 2019 trial, was overturned in December

He now faces a new hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport later this month. The hearing is set to start on May 24 and last until May 28

The results of the new hearing will decide whether Sun is eligible to swim in Tokyo this summer, though there has been no date announced for an award.

Depending on other athletes meeting the Olympic A standard, he might still be able to swim for China based on his performances at the 2019 world championships in South Korea.

Johnathan White | South China Morning Post

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