Hangzhou’s Golden Boy: Fei Liwei Shines at the Asian Games
Fei Liwei’s Golden Moment at the Asian Games
In the men’s 1500m freestyle final at the Hangzhou Asian Games on September 26, the city’s own son Fei Liwei clinched the gold medal with an impressive time of 14 minutes 55.47 seconds. An interesting twist came in the last section of the race when Fei’s swimming cap fell off, a testament to the sheer intensity of his effort. Fei responded to this incident, stating that it did not affect him significantly, but he acknowledged that his hair was a bit long and that his cap would fill with water during training. He assured that he would change his hairstyle to avoid such incidents in the future.
Fei Liwei’s Journey to Gold
Fei Liwei, a 20-year-old native of Hangzhou, started swimming with his cousin when he was five. He began participating in city-level competitions at the age of six or seven and consistently ranked among the top three. He gradually took part in higher-level competitions and achieved excellent results. He joined the national team last year, much to the delight of his family.
Fei first came into the public eye at the second National Youth Games in 2019, where he won eight gold medals, earning him the nickname “Youth Games 8 Gold King.” At the 2023 National Swimming Championships in Hangzhou, he won the men’s 800m and 1500m freestyle, far exceeding the Fukuoka World Championships and Paris Olympics A standard. He is ranked third in the performance ranking of this event among Chinese male athletes. Many consider him the strongest new generation force in Chinese men’s long-distance freestyle swimming and have dubbed him the “successor to Sun Yang.”
Family Support and Future Aspirations
Fei’s mother, Fei Fang, family members, and his first swimming coach attended the competition to support him. Despite being happy to be there, Fei’s mother commented that she was not fully satisfied with the result and hoped that Fei could stay calm and perform well in every competition.
Following the age of 13, Fei started training with a team away from home. His mother has accompanied him to almost every competition, no matter the distance, to support him. His teachers describe him as having a natural affinity for water and a diligent nature. He balanced his academics and swimming, often training until late at night. The school accommodated his demanding schedule by providing flexible assignments.
Fei will also participate in the men’s 800m freestyle in the coming competitions, and his fans are hoping for another excellent performance.
A Memorable Day for Chinese Swimmers
The Hangzhou Asian Games were a day to remember for Chinese swimmers. Apart from Fei Liwei, other swimmers like Qin Haiyang, Xu Jiayu, Wang Changhao, and Pan Zhanle also made their mark. China won the men’s 4x100m medley relay with a new Asian record time of three minutes and 27.01 seconds. This result also ranked second in the all-time world rankings, 0.23 seconds behind the world record set by the United States. South Korea took the second place in 3:32.05, while Japan came third after clocking 3:32.52.
Asian record holder Li Bingjie was in a class of her own in the women’s 400m freestyle. She led after 50 meters and never looked back, pocketing her third gold at the Hangzhou Asiad with four minutes and 1.96 seconds, a new Games record. Her teammate Ma Yonghui came second in 4:05.68 and Waka Kobori of Japan finished third in 4:07.81.
Fei Liwei’s gold medal at the Asian Games is a testament to his talent and hard work. The victory also sets the stage for his future participation in the 800m freestyle competition. With his family support and determination, Fei Liwei is a rising star to watch in the swimming world.
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