SHAOXING, China, April 4. MAKE it 10! The sub-1:00 club in the women's 100 back just welcomed its 10th member at the Chinese Trials held in Shaoxing, China.
Zhao Jing rocketed to an Asian record time of 59.81 to break the previous record of 1:00.16 set by He Chiong way back in 1994.
"I planned to break the one minute mark, but have not expected I could break the Asian record," Zhao told Chinaview. "It is difficult to get myself excited before the race. I said to myself that I should shrug off any pressure, just go out and swim. It was a rather satisfying result."
Just this year, 10 swimmers have eclipsed what previously had been known as Natalie Coughlin's sole domain.
59.21 – Natalie Coughlin, USA
59.41 – Anastasia Zueva, RUS
59.42 – Kirsty Coventry, ZIM
59.50 – Laure Manaudou, FRA
59.59 – Emily Seebohm, AUS
59.81 – Hayley McGregory, USA
59.81 – Zhao Jing, CHN
59.84 – Sophie Edington, AUS
59.89 – Gemma Spofforth, GBR
59.97 – Belinda Hocking, AUS
Zhao finished the day tied with Hayley McGregory of the United States as the sixth-fastest swimmer of all time in the event. The recent performances guarantee that at least one sub-1:00 swimmer won't make finals in Beijing as Belinda Hocking will not even compete in the event as the third-fastest Australian. Also, the continual progression of the event could provide the world with a completely sub-minute final.
In other action, Ouyang Kunpeng, Xie Zhi, Zhoe Jiawei and Chen Zuo broke the Chinese national record in the men's 400 medley relay with a time of 3:37.92.
"We've been planning to do this. The European swimmers are edging us out. We are feeling a lot of pressure and really need to catch on," Chen told Chinaview.
Other winners included Li Xuanxu in the women's 800 free (8:31.66), Xue Ruipeng in the women's 200 breast (2:15.56), Zhang Zishan in the men's 200 IM (2:01.88) and Pang Jiaying in the men's 100 free (54.17).