World swimming champion Xu Jiayu: to fight, to conquer


KUNMING, Jan. 12 -- Starts, turns, and strokes, Xu Jiayu, the 24-year-old world swimming champion has been honing his skills for about two and a half hours in the pool in the afternoon, after taking hours of gym session in the morning.

Dull and strict trainings are repeated day after day, but Xu still keeps highly spirited.

"Hard indeed, but I can enjoy the hardships," Xu said with a bright smile.

Xu, with his national swimming teammates, is now training at a winter camp in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, to prepare for the 2019 World Championships and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Located in the middle of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, Kunming is at an altitude of more than 1,800 meters above sea level.

"Training at highland can help us be better prepared physically," he said.

Xu rose to fame at the 2016 Summer Olympics when he won the a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke before he became the first ever Chinese male swimmer to win the backstroke world title in 2017.

Last year, Xu lost to his old rival American Ryan Murphy in the men's 100m backstroke at the short-course worlds in Hangzhou touching in 49.26 seconds, only 0.03 second off the pace.

"It's really a pity that I didn't bag the title last year as the game was held in my own country. People had high expectations on me and I also gave myself too much pressure," he said.

"However, winning or losing are all quite normal for us. We are all fighting for the champion and the competing with top swimmers can make me stronger," Xu said.

Speaking of the New Year expectation, Xu said he would try his best in the 2019 World Championships in South Korea. "But right now, it's more important to focus on the daily training."

Besides winning the gold medal, Xu also wishes to conquer himself and get rid of the heavy pressure he has long been putting onto himself.

"It's hard but I'm striving to be more mature in dealing with pressure," he added.

来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: