China celebrates first swimming golds and a world record

Sun Yang celebrates his gold medal in the 400m freestyle.

Story highlights

  • China claims first ever Olympic swimming gold in men's events
  • Sun Yang 0.07 off world record as he claims 400m freestyle title
  • 16 year old Ye Shiwen claims second Chinese swimming gold in 400m medley
  • Ye breaks four-year-old world record

China had cause for a double celebration on Saturday after winning their first ever swimming gold medal as well as setting a new world record in the women's 400m medley.

Sun Yang sealed a place in China's Olympic history with an impressive swim in the 400m freestyle final that was only 0.07 seconds off the world record to take gold.

Defending Olympic champion Park Ta-Hwan was leading at the final turn, but the 20-year-old Sun surged past his South Korean rival in the final length to seal a place in Chinese Olympic history.

"The feeling is very nice, it's beautiful. It's a big dream come true for me," said Sun.

"Because it's the Olympic Games, I felt a little bit nervous at the start, and then at the end, I felt that I could get a medal."

Twenty minutes after Yang won China's maiden gold medal, 16-year-old Ye Shiwen triumphed in the women's 400m medley, as well as breaking the world record set in Beijing four years ago.

Ye rounded off a sparkling day in the pool for China as she claimed the title with a breathtaking final lap of 28.93 seconds.

    "I thought at the 200 meters that the race was lost, but then I realized I was in the top two or three and I was confident I could win on the last leg," said Ye.

    "I dreamed of winning the gold medal, but I never ever expected to break a world record, I'm overwhelmed."