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Top 10 highest-earning Chinese athletes of 2012 (8)  15:09, January 07, 2013

Sun Yang (孙杨)(

Sport: Swimming

Age: 22

2012 earnings: 30 million yuan (US$4.81 million)

2011 ranking: N/A

Sun Yang is rapidly becoming one of the most famous Chinese athletes in the world after his sensational success during the London Olympic Games. Born in December of 1991 in Hangzhou, Sun's father was a basketball player and his mother a volleyball player. In early 2011, he was sent off to train, with Olympic medalist Grant Hackett's mentor Dennis Cotterell, in Australia for two months. Then, on July 31 of that same year, Sun broke the world record in the 1500m freestyle, which had coincidentally been set by Grant Hackett ten years earlier.

On July 28 and August 4, 2012, Sun became the Olympic champion in the men's 400m and 1500m freestyle events, making him the first male swimmer to win an Olympic gold for China as well as one of the two male swimmers to win two individual titles at one time -- the other being American Michael Phelps.

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