Swimmer Ning Zetao, His Abs Dominate China’s Internet

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    Is it me or do you find it strange that we see so much of Mr Jeong,

    yet there’s very little mention of this Asian guy?


    There’s a new athletic darling crowding China’s Internet these days: swimmer Ning Zetao.

    On Thursday, Ning won gold in the 100-meter freestyle at the 2015 FINA Swimming World Championships in Kazan, Russia. His 47.84-second swim made him the first Asian to win a medal in the 100-free at the championships.

    Another impressive metric: The hashtag “Ning Zetao makes history” on China’s Weibo social-media network racked up more than 66 million readers, according to the service.

    The 22-year-old from Zhengzhou in Henan province is filling up some of the celebrity sports space left by Li Na, China’s tennis superstar who retired last year after winning the Australian Open, and who gave birth to a baby girl in June. Ning, a lieutenant in the Chinese navy, quickly became a popular figure on Weibo, attracting a swath of ogling admirers.

    CCTV host Lu Jian wrote on his verified account, “he is the husband in everyone’s dream.” Referring to the Facebook-like social-media function of the popular social-media app WeChat, he added, “all women went crazy overnight, and pictures of all angles of his abdominal muscles swept my WeChat Moments.”

    Another user wrote, “He could have lived on his good-looking face and body, but instead he chose to live on his talent and hard work. A thumb’s up!”

    Calls to one of Ning’s coaches went unanswered.

    The swimmer – whose chubby cheeks have led him to be called xiaobaozi, meaning “little steamed stuffed bun,” by admirers and even by himself on his social-media accounts – has become an object of intense speculation online.

    Swimmer Ning Zetao, His Abs Dominate China’s Internet

    Any swimmers/athletes here? Chime in with your thoughts.

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