LONDON (Reuters) - Chinese swimming sensation Ye Shiwen set herself up for a golden double at the London Olympics when she posted the fastest qualifying time in the preliminaries of the women's 200 meters individual medley on Monday.
The 16-year-old, who shattered the world record to win the 400 medley on Saturday, was untroubled winning her morning heat in the four-lap race, stopping the clock at two minutes, 08.90 seconds.
Despite easing off on the final freestyle leg, Ye still finished well clear of her main rivals to emerge as the nearly unsinkable favorite to snatch the gold.
She was more than a second and a half ahead of her nearest rival, Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry, and more than three seconds clear of Australia's Stephanie Rice, the Beijing Olympic champion and Ariana Kukors, the current world record holder. (Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)