Pan Zhanle Blasts 47.22 to Set Asian Record in the Men’s 100 Freestyle

chinese-LI Bingjie CHN Women's 800m Freestyle Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates 18/12/21 Etihad Arena FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Photo Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Li Bingjie; Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Pan Zhanle Blasts 47.22 to Set Asian Record in the Men’s 100 Freestyle

Pan Zhanle got Chinese Nationals off to a rocket start Monday in Hangzhou, setting an Asian record of 47.22 seconds in the men’s 100 freestyle.

The 18-year-old went 47.22 on Day 1 of the meet, winning the final by 1.3 seconds. He downed the continental record set at the Tokyo Olympics by Hwang Sun-Woo of South Korea. It’s the 11th fastest time in history. Pan was just second in prelims at 49.13, then went nearly two seconds quicker in finals.

Second was Wang Haoyu in 48.51. Chen Juner, who set the pace in prelims, tied with Yang Jington for third in 48.94. (It’s a great swim particularly for Chen, the world junior record holder in the 200 butterfly short course.)

Pan was one of several big names in action in the first day of competition at what is officially the Fusu Technology Cup 2023, at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Swimming Hall. (This venue will host the Asian Games later this year.)

Zhang Yufei won the 200 fly, the event she won at the Tokyo Olympics. Zhang went 2:07.99 to win. Both she and runner-up Yu Liyan (2:08.33) were under the Olympic A standard. Third was Zhang Yifan in 2:09.79

Li Bingjie started out with a decisive victory in the women’s 1,500, going 15:51.21. The reigning 400 free bronze medalist won the race by nearly 10 seconds, with both she and runner-up Gao Weizhong (16:01.13) well under the Olympic A cut for Paris. She brushed within 10 seconds of Wang Jianjiahe’s Chinese and Asian records from the Tokyo Games. (Wang was not entered in the event.)

Xu Jiayu delivered an emphatic victory in the men’s 100 back by going 52.47. It’s within a second of the Asian mark he’s held since 2017. It bodes well for the two-time World Champion in this event, now age 27, returning to form. Wang Gu Kailai was a distant second in 54.48.

Wang Shun won the 200 individual medley in equally impressive fashion, the reigning Olympic champ brushing within a half-second of his time from Tokyo in 1:55.55. He won by more than two seconds over Quin Haiyang.

The other individual event of the session was the 50 breast, won by Tang Qiantin in 30.88. She held off a deep field to secure a likely Worlds spot, with Yang Chan second in 31.09 and Yu Yiting second in 31.23.

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