Wang Jianjiahe Breaks Asian Record in 800 Free

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Wang Jianjiahe continued her stunning breakout year with a Chinese national record and Asian record in the 800 free at the 2019 Chinese Championships.

The 16-year-old won the event in 8:14.64 to become the third-fastest performer in history behind Katie Ledecky and Rebecca Adlington.

Wang dropped nearly four seconds from her previous career-best time in the event.

That 8:18.09 she clocked was at last year’s TYR Pro Series in Atlanta.

All-Time List:

  1. Katie Ledecky, USA, 8:04.79 (2016)
  2. Rebecca Adlington, GBR, 8:14.10 (2008)
  3. Wang Jianjiahe, CHN, 8:14.64 (2019)
  4. Li Bingjie, CHN, 8:15.46 (2017)
  5. Jazz Carlin, GBR, 8:15.54 (2014)
  6. Lotte Friis, DEN, 8:15.92 (2009)
  7. Janet Evans, USA, 8:16.22 (1989)
  8. Simona Quadarella, ITA, 8:16.35 (2018)

The previous Chinese and Asian record was held by Li Bingjie at 8:15.46. Li was in the event and finished second in 8:27.96.

It has been a huge year for Wang.

At the FINA World Cup event in Budapest, Wang swam the SCM 400 free in 3:53.97 to break the world record of 3:54.52 by Spain’s Mireia Belmonte from the 2013 FINA World Cup in Berlin.

Wang just missed the World Record earlier in the cup when she was a 3:54.63 at the World Cup in Eindhoven, prior to Budapest.

Wang is the first Chinese swimmer to hold a world record in the 400 free short course or long course ever. She was a 4:03.18 at the Asian Games earlier this year to win the gold medal in Jakarta. She would have been third in the 2018 Virtual World Championships behind Ledecky (3:58.50) and Australian Ariarne Titmus (3:59.66).

In August, Wang won her second gold medal of the 2018 Asian Games with a new Games Record in the 800 free with an 8:18.55. Wang earlier won the 1500 free gold medal in a very tight battle with teammate Li. It was expected to be another tight battle with those two but Li was well off pace and swam an 8:28.14 for the silver medal.

Wang broke the Games Record that had stood since 2010 at 8:23.55 by China’s Li Xuanxu.

In the 1500, Wang and Li were back and forth throughout the first 800 to which Wang pulled away and was nearly three full seconds ahead of Li. Li scratched and clawed her way back and almost caught Wang but the latter held on for a 15:53.68 while Li settled for silver at 15:53.80.