Chinese teenager Pan Zhanle broke the men’s 100m freestyle world record with a time of 46.80sec at the world championships in Doha yesterday.
Pan achieved the new mark leading off his team during the 4x100m freestyle relay to set up teammates Ji Xinjie, Zhang Zhanshuo and Wang Haoyu to seal gold for China in 3minutes 11:08seconds.
The 19-year-old shaved 0.06sec off the previous record of 46.86 achieved by Romanian David Popovici at the European championships in Rome in August 2022.
“Yeah, it was an incredible time. I trusted my friends and we did our best,” Pan said.
“I said to myself ‘swim hard’. I was shocked when I saw the time, I didn’t expect to break the world record now, I wanted to keep it for the Paris Olympics.”
Italy took silver in 3:12.08 and the United States bronze in 3:12.29. Before these worlds Pan had only one world medal, silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay last year in Fukuoka, Japan.
He also has three Asian Games titles, including the 100m. His previous personal best was 46.97, which made him the fifth fastest man in the world before arriving in Qatar.
Earlier South Korea’s Kim Woo-min won gold in the men’s 400m freestyle on the first day of the swimming competition.
Kim clocked 3 minutes 42.71 seconds to edge out Australia’s Elijah Winnington, the 2022 world champion. Germany’s Lukas Martens took third place.
The 22-year-old Kim was on course to break Paul Biedermann’s world record going into the final 100m but couldn’t maintain the pace and finished over two seconds off the German’s mark, set in 2009.
Olympic champion Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia was a surprise casualty in the heats, coming a lowly 17th overall and missing out on a place in the final.
New Zealand’s Erika Fairweather cruised to victory in the women’s 400m freestyle, touching the wall over two seconds clear of China’s Li Bingjie. Isabel Gose of Germany claimed the bronze.
Beijing to host 2029 world swimming championshipsBeijing will host the 2029 World Aquatics Championships, becoming the second Chinese city to do so after Shanghai in 2011, World Aquatics announced yesterday.
An aquatics hotspot, Beijing has hosted 15 editions of the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup, along with multiple World Cup events in swimming, diving, artistic swimming and water polo. China also hosted both the World Aquatics Swimming Championships (25m) in Hangzhou in 2018 and the World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai in 2011.
Yesterday’s announcement comes in the middle of the present world championships in Doha where China dominated the first week taking 16 golds out of 29 events to top the medal table.
“World Aquatics today confirmed that the Chinese capital will host the World Aquatics Championships – Beijing 2029,” read a statement by World Aquatics. “The flagship World Aquatics event will welcome more than 2,500 world-class athletes from over 200 countries and regions to compete in the six aquatic sports of swimming, diving, water polo, artistic swimming, open water swimming and high diving.”
China Swimming Association President Zhou Jihong said the awarding of the hosting rights fitted in with the Chinese love of aquatic sports.
“We have a very proud history of welcoming the best aquatics athletes to our country,” she said yesterday.
“We are therefore very honoured with Beijing being awarded the opportunity to host the world’s largest aquatics event, the World Aquatics Championships, in 2029.”
Singapore and Budapest will host the 2025 and 2027 editions respectively.
Chinese swimmer Pan Zhanle, aged 19, in action during the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay during the World Aquatics Championships at Aspire Dome in Doha yesterday. (Reuters)