RACE VIDEO: Liu Xiang Takes Down 50 Back World Record At Asian Games; First To Break 27 Seconds

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The third night of finals from the 2018 Asian Games got off to a rousing start as the first world record from the swimming pool fell on Tuesday night in Jakarta. China’s Liu Xiang, no relation to the sprint hurdler from the mid-2000’s, broke another super suit world record in the 50 backstroke, touching in a 26.98. Liu broke the world record of countrywoman Zhao Jing of 27.06 from the Rome World Championships.

Liu finished ahead of fellow Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui, who many expected would be the first to break the world record after she had been close to it the last few years, including posting a 27.16 earlier this year. But it was Liu who will keep the world record in the Chinese family.

Japan’s Natsumi Sakai won the bronze medal with a 27.91 while Fu took home the silver at 27.68.

This marks the seventh world record of 2018 in long course swimming. This leaves just three world records on the women’s side since 2009 with Liu Zige’s 200 fly, Federica Pellegrini’s 200 free and China’s 4×200 free relay.

Zhao’s world record had stood since 2009 after it got exchanged a number of times earlier in the summer. Liu also becomes the third Chinese swimmer to hold the world record after Zhao and Li Yang.

World Record Progression:

  • Liu Xiang, CHN, 26.98 (2018)
  • Zhao Jing, CHN, 27.06 (2009)
  • Anastasia Zueva (sf), RUS, 27.38 (2009)
  • Daniela Samulski (sf), GER, 27.39 (2009)
  • Samulski, GER, 27.61 (2009)
  • Zhao, CHN, 27.67 (2009)
  • Sophie Edington, AUS, 27.67 (2008)
  • Emily Seebohm (sf), AUS, 27.95 (2008)
  • Hayley McGregory, USA, 28.00 (2008)
  • Li Yang, CHN, 28.09 (2007)

All-Time Rankings:

  1. Liu Xiang, CHN, 26.98 (2018)
  2. Zhao Jing, CHN, 27.06 (2009)
  3. Fu Yuanhui, CHN, 27.11 (2015)
  4. Etiene Medeiros, BRA, 27.14 (2017)
  5. Georgia Davies, GBR, 27.21 (2018)
  6. Daniela Samulski, GER, 27.23 (2009)
  7. Aliaksandra Herasimenia, BLR, 27.23 (2017)
  8. Anastasia Fesikova, RUS, 27.23 (2018)

Race Results:

  1. Liu Xiang, CHN, 26.98, WORLD RECORD
  2. Fu Yuanhui, CHN, 27.68
  3. Natsumi Sakai, JPN, 27.91
  4. Anna Konishi, JPN, 28.37
  5. Park Hanbyeol, KOR, 28.39
  6. Stephanie Au, HKG, 28.70
  7. Shin Youngyeon, KOR, 28.85
  8. Kwan To Wong, HKG, 29.02




  1. avatar

    Fast! Congratulations!

Author: Andy Ross

Andy Ross is the new man on board at Swimming World. He is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude.

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