19-year-old Pan Zhanle made history by breaking the men’s 100m freestyle world record at the world swimming championships in Doha. He led off China’s gold medal-winning 4x100m free relay team, shaving six hundredths off the previous world record set by Romanian David Popovici in 2022. This impressive performance helped China win the relay by a one-second margin over Italy while the U.S. claimed bronze without their top 100m freestylers.
With his remarkable record, Pan has established himself as a strong contender for the iconic 100m freestyle race at the Paris Olympics, which American Caeleb Dressel won in an Olympic record time of 47.02 at the previous Games in Tokyo in 2021. Although some top swimmers opted not to compete at the worlds, which was held for the first time since it was scheduled to take place during an Olympic year, Pan’s performance was noteworthy.
In the women’s 4x100m free, Australia outperformed New Zealand to win, with anchor Marrit Steenbergen posting the fastest split of