Watch: Chinese swimmer requests anthem re-do after flags fall

Sun Yang is one of the finest swimmers of his generation, and he’s spent quite a few time atop podiums. But that doesn’t mean he takes it for granted.

Over the weekend in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sun finally won the 200m freestyle event that had eluded him at the past two Asian Games. And when he ascended the podium to claim his gold medal, disaster struck … sort of. As the Chinese anthem was playing, the rigging holding the Chinese flag collapsed, sending the flag fluttering to the ground. (You can see Sun’s reaction in the video above.)

Sun immediately requested that the anthem be restarted, and Asian Games organizers complied. They held up the flags by hand until they could locate replacement hoists for future events.

After the event, Sun kept it all in perspective, focusing on the victory rather than the fiasco. “I’ve waited eight years for this title,” Sun said afterward. “It also gives me a golden grand slam of Olympic, world and Asian titles. It’s a perfect result, a dream. It’s unbelievable.”

Sun is attempting to win the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m frees in Jakarta. It’s a safe bet he’ll get more chances to hear his anthem … and organizers will get more chances to raise the flag properly.

Sun Yang celebrated his medal, and his anthem. (Getty)
Sun Yang celebrated his medal, and his anthem. (Getty)

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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