China's Jiao wins women's 200m butterfly at worlds
Jiao Liuyang of China won the fourth swimming gold for the host nation at the 14th FINA World Championships as the 19-year-old clinched the women's 200m butterfly title on Thursday.
China's Jiao Liuyang (L) gestures while speaking to her compatriot Liu Zige after the women's 200m butterfly final at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai July 28, 2011.
SHANGHAI - Jiao Liuyang of China won the fourth swimming gold for the host nation at the 14th FINA World Championships as the 19-year-old clinched the women's 200m butterfly title on Thursday.
Jiao, runner-up of the event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, led throughout the final to win the gold in 2:05.55, while British Ellen Gandy surpassed Chinese Liu Zige to take the silver in 2:05.59. Olympic champion Liu settled for the bronze at 2:05.90.
Liu seemed not in her best form at the Shanghai worlds, as the butterfly specialist failed to win a medal in the 100m fly on Sunday.
And Jiao, who just claimed the gold of the event at the World Military Games in Brazil on July 17, was quite in shape.
"I was quite relaxed before the final," said the winner, also the Asian champion of the event. "Because I just returned from Brazil and was very tired. I think Zige is under big pressure, since she holds the world record. And I just followed my feelings in the final."
Although winning the gold, Jiao was not satisfied with her result. "The level of the final was not very high as my result was only 2:05.55," she said. "Competing with Zige will help both of us to make improvement."
It was Jiao's first gold at the World Championships. "It's not easy," she said. "I've expected the gold for a long time, and now I am happy."
"My skills still need to be improved," said the modest girl. "When I was in good form, it looked Ok, but when I was in bad form, it looked ugly. So I will focus on it in the future."
China's Jiao Liuyang competes in the women's 200m butterfly final at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai July 28, 2011.
Jiao is still expecting her first gold at the Olympic Games. "The next real race will be the London Games, as the worlds is the last big competition before London."
"I think maybe there is some problem in my training before the worlds," said the 21-year-old Liu, the world record holder of the 200m fly. "But the result is OK. I didn't feel well in the 100m fly and my coach and I tried to solve the problem, but we don't have enough time to adjust to the best."
The runner-up Gandy was happy with her result. "It is not within your control. But I feel strangely calm. I feel better, the game is amazing," she said. "The Chinese girls are faster. I just come for next year. I am going to have a holiday, I will enjoy sunshine with my family."
"It's the best competition I've taken part in," she added.
Australia's star swimmer Stephanie Rice finished fifth in 2:06.08, while her teammate, defending champion Jessicah Schipper placed the last in 2:06.64.
Gold medallist Jiao Liuyang (R) of China and bronze medallist Liu Zige of China (L) pose with their medals and a national flag after the women's 200m butterfly final at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai, July 28, 2011.