Li breaks women's 400m freestyle short course world record

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Olympic champion Li Bingjie breaks women's 400m freestyle short course world record on Thursday. [Photo/Xinhua]

Olympic champion Li Bingjie of China broke the women's 400m freestyle short course world record in a time of three minutes and 51.30 seconds on Thursday.

Li made the feat at the Chinese National Qualification Meet for the FINA 2022 World Championships (25M) to be held from Dec. 13-18 in Melbourne, Australia.

Li, the reigning short course world champion in 400m and 800m free, led all the way through the 400m final, lifting the world record 3:53.92 set by Ariarne Titmus of Australia in 2018 Hangzhou worlds.

"I was surprised with my result. I have returned to the pool only for two months since I took a vacation after the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. I thought about renewing my personal best as I won the event in the last year's worlds in Abu Dhabi," said the winning team member of women's 4x200m freestyle relay at Tokyo Olympic Games.

"I hope I could get faster and do my best in the upcoming Melbourne worlds," Li said.

Two-time Olympic champion Zhang Yufei stormed 23.82 seconds in the women's 50m freestyle, together with Wu Qingfeng in 23.86 and Cheng Yujie in 23.90. All three swimmers bettered the previous national record of 23.95 set by Zhu Menghui in 2018.

"I was in a bittersweet mood as I was 0.07 shy of the Asian record, but satisfied with my performance after a two-month recovery training," said 200m butterfly Olympic and world champion Zhang.

17-year-old Yu Yiting smashed women's 100m medley national record in 58.27 while Qin Haiyang lifted men's 100m breaststroke national record to 56.31.

The three-day Chinese National Qualification Meet will end on Saturday. 

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