What is the Secret Behind the Rise of China in Swimming at Tokyo Olympics?

China achieved great success in swimming at Tokyo Olympics, as they walked away with three gold, two silver and one bronze medal. Let us find out what allowed them to achieve such success in the pool.

swimming at Tokyo Olympics; the winning Chinese Women team
swimming at Tokyo Olympics; the winning Chinese Women team

Swimming at the Olympics sees the the United States of America dominate the pool, with Australia giving them steady competition. However this year in swimming at Tokyo Olympics China crept in as well, increasing its field of dominance from diving and artistic swimming to the pool as well. China took home three gold medals, two silver medals, and one bronze medal, a considerable improvement from their previous performance four years ago.

China made considerable headway in swimming at Tokyo Olympics, as they leave their controversial past behind. So what is the secret behind China’s rise in the swimming pool? Let’s find out.

The Medal Winners from China in Swimming at Tokyo Olympics: Women Dominate

swimming at Tokyo Olympics; Yufei Zhang and Wang Shun
swimming at Tokyo Olympics; Yufei Zhang and Wang Shun

Often known as the “butterfly queen”, China’s Zhang Yufei was the most successful swimmer to represent China, and she lived up to her nickname, as she left with an Olympic Record and a gold medal in the women’s 200m butterfly and a silver medal in the 100m butterfly. She was also a part of the team that won silver in the debut 4x100m mixed medley relay.

Li Bingjie was also a notable athlete from the Olympics, as she took home a bronze in the women’s 400m freestyle. Along with Li and Zhang, Tang Muhan and Yang Junxuan created history in the pool, becoming the gold medal winners in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay, and broke the world record in a performance which shocked the world.

The men’s side saw only one medal, but it was an extraordinary gold from Wang Shun in the 200m individual medley, and overall a very strong performance from the Chinese team in swimming at Tokyo Olympics.

What is the secret behind China’s Rise in Swimming at Tokyo Olympics? High Tech Help was the Key to Their Success

Swimming at Tokyo Olympics; High tech systems used by Chinese Swimmers
Swimming at Tokyo Olympics; High tech systems used by Chinese Swimmers

The Chinese athletes, along with swimmers were given help by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), who provided them with some high tech help to improve their performance. Using aerospace measurements products, swimmers like Yufei Zhang refined their techniques outside the pool or the gym.

Sessions in wind tunnels that were built in state run labs overseen by CASC scientists was the key part of their success. The scientists also built a compact version of a missile guidance system to gather data on athletes postures.

“Through data analysis, they helped athletes formulate training programs scientifically and provided scientific support to improve the performance. The system can obtain sports information such as athletes’ posture, speed, position, angular velocity, acceleration, et cetera during training,” the CASC said in a Weibo post.

The CASC scientists made a miniature version of the INS used by intercontinental ballistic missiles to “help swimmers refine their technique and cut down on drag”. The system was made as light as possible so that the swimmers could wear it comfortably, and were made to sit in a wind tunnel where they were simulated against the wind.

The simulation allowed the scientists to calculate the precise drag produced by different movements, CASC said. The assessments were then developed into recommendations on ways the swimmers could refine their technique and manage their body shape.” said the South China Morning Post.

The technology used by China was certainly a smart one, and has lead to results that will definitely see its use in the future.

Also read: Which country won the most medals in Judo at Tokyo Olympics 2020?

Saivee is an avid follower of F1, golf, athletics and pretty much any other sport she can watch. Being a sportsperson herself, her passion for sports is deep rooted. A student currently residing in Pune, she hopes to learn something new about sports everyday!