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.

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.

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2018 Asian Games - Swimming - Men's 800m Freestyle - GBK Aquatic Center, Jakarta, Indonesia - August 20, 2018 China's Sun Yang celebrates after winning the race REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 20: Sun Yang of China competes in the Men's 800 meters freestyle final on day two of the Asian Games on August 20, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 20: Gold medallist Sun Yang of China poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's 800m freestyle swimming final on day two of the Asian Games on August 20, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by Du Yang/China News Service/VCG)
Gold medallist China's Sun Yang celebrates during the victory ceremony of the men's 800m freestyle swimming event during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on August 20, 2018. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 20: (L-R) Silver medallist Shogo Takeda of Japan, gold medallist Sun Yang of China and bronze medallist Huy Hoang Nguyen of Vietnam pose on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's 800m freestyle swimming final on day two of the Asian Games on August 20, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by Du Yang/China News Service/VCG)
Gold medallist China's Sun Yang celebrates during the victory ceremony of the men's 800m freestyle swimming event during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on August 20, 2018. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 20: Sun Yang of China celebrates after winning the Men's 800m freestyle swimming final on day two of the Asian Games on August 20, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by VCG)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 20: Sun Yang of China celebrates after fininshing as winner during men's 800 freestyle swimming match on day two of the Asian Games on August 20, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by Yifan Ding/Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 20: Gold medallist Sun Yang of China celebrates after the medal ceremony for the Men's 800m freestyle swimming final on day two of the Asian Games on August 20, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by VCG)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 20: Gold medallist Sun Yang of China celebrates after the medal ceremony for the Men's 800m freestyle swimming final on day two of the Asian Games on August 20, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by VCG)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 20: (L-R) Bronze medallist Huy Hoang Nguyen of Vietnam, gold medallist Sun Yang of China and silver medallist Shogo Takeda of Japan celebrate after the medal ceremony for the Men's 800m freestyle swimming final on day two of the Asian Games on August 20, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by VCG)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 20: Gold medallist Sun Yang of China poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's 800m freestyle swimming final on day two of the Asian Games on August 20, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by VCG)
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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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