Li Bingjie sets Asian record in 1,500m free, national mark in 200m free

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Li Bingjie [Photo/Xinhua]

Olympic champion Li Bingjie continued her limelight performance with an Asian record in 1,500m freestyle and a national mark in 200m freestyle on the second day of the Chinese National Championships (25m) in Beijing on Friday.

In the women's 1,500m freestyle final, Li enjoyed her own show and clocked an Asian record of 15 minutes and 41.80 seconds, beating the previous mark of 15:44.84 set by Waka Kobori of Japan last year.

Later, Li came back to the pool and stormed to a national record of 1:51.25 in the 200m freestyle. Yang Junxuan finished second in 1:51.61.

"I was more satisfied with 200m free because it was more competitive, while the 1,500m was a new event with only a few Asian swimmers having competed," said the winning team member of the women's 4x200m freestyle relay at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Li also roared to a new world record in the 400m free on Thursday. "Because my competition schedule had some changes, I did not prepare well and perform well in the Budapest World Championships last summer. I was upset about it, therefore I vowed to show my best in the short course worlds. I hope I could make something special in the year of 2022," said the 20-year-old reigning short course world champion in 400m and 800m free.

In the women's 100m breaststroke final, 18-year-old Tang Qianting renewed her own Asian record to 1:03.15. "I felt excited in the final and planned to improve my personal best. I enjoy competition and I am looking forward to swimming with more world-class rivals in Melbourne," Tang said.

Qin Haiyang, silver medalist in 200m breaststroke in the 2018 Hangzhou worlds, found his new talent in short distance as he raised the national record in 50m breaststroke to 26.12. The former record holder Yan Zibei came to second in 26.16.

"It was a surprise since I just finished the 200m individual medley and I felt a little bit exhausted. Maybe that was the reason why I broke the national record in 50m," said Qin, who also hit a national record in 100m breaststroke on Thursday.

In the men's 200m butterfly, Chen Jun'er set a national as well as a world junior record of 1:49.61, beating the previous mark of 1:50.39.

The three-day event was the qualification meet for the FINA 2022 World Championships (25M) to be held from Dec. 13-18 in Melbourne, Australia. 

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