Flash: China’s Li Bingjie Shatters Short-Course World Record in 400 Freestyle

LI-Bingjie-CHN 800m Freestyle Women Heats Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates 17/12/2021 Etihad Arena FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Photo Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

China’s Li Bingjie Shatters Short-Course World Record in 400 Free

Li Bingjie made history on Thursday, shattering the world record in the short-course women’s 400 freestyle on the first day of the 2022 Chinese Swimming Championships.

Li touched the wall in 3:51.30, dominating the old world record set by Australian Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus, who held the previous record at 3:53.92, set at the 2019 FINA Short Course World Championships.

“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,” Xinhua news agency quoted Li as saying. “I hope I could get faster and do my best in the upcoming Melbourne worlds,” she said, referring to the Dec. 13-18 world championships.

The world record could be in danger again this weekend. American Olympic champion Katie Ledecky will be competing in the FINA World Cup Series this weekend in Toronto, then Indianapolis next week, and will have her shot to claim the record at each stop.

That doesn’t take away from a stunning performance by Li Bingjie.

Li won the gold medal in the 400 free at the 2021 FINA Short Course World Championships, holding off Canada’s Summer McIntosh and Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey in the process. Li won that race in 3:55.83, which was her previous best time before throwing down a time four seconds faster on Thursday in China.

The previous Chinese national record and Asian record in the event was 3:53.97, set by Wang Jianjiahe in 2018 at a FINA World Cup event.

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