If Park Tae-hwan is the ‘Marine Boy’ (kinda weak nickname dubbed by the adoring Korean media and public), then Michael Phelps must be the erstwhile reigning but just retired/abdicated King Neptune, and Ryan Lochte the older and later-blooming/rediscovered Grecian archetype sea-god Poseidon;
and Sun Yang must surely be the 東海龍王 or Dragon King of the East Sea.
Olympics swimming: Sun Yang wins 1500m freestyle gold
China’s Sun Yang destroyed the rest of the field to break his own world 1500m record and win his second gold medal of London 2012.
Sun finished in a time of 14 minutes 31.02 seconds – 3.12 seconds faster than the world record he set at last year’s World Championships in Shanghai.
Sun was eight seconds clear of Canada’s Ryan Cochrane with defending champion Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia in third.
Once the action got underway, the 20-year-old, who had broken Grant Hackett’s long-standing world mark last year, set off quickly and was above world-record pace from the start.
He quickly put distance between himself and his rivals and from then on it was a race to see by how much he would break his old record.
Behind him, Cochrane and Mellouli got involved in a tussle for medals after the challenge of South Korea’s Taehwan Park faded.
What a great swim by Sun. He swam the last 100m in 53.5 seconds which is superb. After the shaky start he had he reset himself and I think it shook him for the first length. But you have seen the master of distance swimming in action.
Olympic gold medallist and BBC pundit
And a nice touch after the race during the medals award ceremony and photo-taking, when Sun Yang unexpectedly stepped across the hoardings near where the Aussie contingent were sitting at, to embrace his part-time Australian coach.