Zhang Yufei Throws Down Impressive 2:05 200 Butterfly in China

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Zhang Yufei; Photo Courtesy: Xinhua/Youth Olympic Games

22-year-old Zhang Yufei of China has continued her strong assault on her best times log in 2020 as she threw down a very impressive 2:05.70 in the heats of the 200 butterfly at the China Swim Series. It is a new best time for Zhang, who was a 2:06.17 in late 2017 and is ranked fourth all-time in China behind world record holder and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Liu Zige (2:01.81), 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jiao Liuyang (2:04.06) and Gong Jie (2:05.38).

Zhang also swam the 50 free at 24.31 to lead the heats.

Zhang has been on fire in 2020 after a disappointing showing at the 2019 Worlds where she was a 2:14 in the 200 butterfly heats and missing the semi finals after coming in as a potential medal spoiler. Earlier this year, she became the second fastest performer all-time in the 100 butterfly, breaking the Asian record in the process and joining the exclusive sub-56 club that only has four members. At the same meet, she swam the butterfly leg on China’s mixed medley relay that broke the only long course world record of 2020.

Zhang is the second swimmer in 2020 to break 2:06 as Japan’s Suzuka Hasegawa led the world rankings at 2:05.62. With just a few hours left in 2020, we have compared Zhang’s swim to the top swims of 2020 to give a fair sense of where she stands among the rest of the world.

  1. 2:05.62, Suzuka Hasegawa, JPN
  2. 2:05.70, Zhang Yufei, CHN
  3. 2:06.11, Hali Flickinger, USA
  4. 2:06.39, Regan Smith, USA
  5. 2:06.83, Yu Liyan, CHN
  6. 2:06.99, Zhang Yifan, CHN
  7. 2:07.62, Laura Stephens, GBR
  8. 2:07.68, Katinka Hosszu, HUN

The fan-led Twitter account of Chinese Swimming News and Results provided top three result translations from the first session of the meet with some impressive swims out of 2019 Worlds medalist Yan Zibei in the 100 breaststroke (59.07) and another Worlds medalist Wang Jianjiahe in the 400 freestyle (4:03.02). Wang Shun also cruised in the 200 IM with a 1:58.24.

16-year-old Tang Qianting led the 100 breast at 1:06.40 ahead of Yu Jingyao (1:06.74). For reference, the world junior record stands at 1:05.39 from Ruta Meilutyte in 2014.

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