On the third morning of the World Championships in Doha, Li Bingjie led the 200 free in the sole women’s prelim. Despite none of the medallists from the 2023 worlds being present at the Aspire Dome, Li was able to take home a victory in 1:57.16 to Erika Fairweather’s 1:57.40.
Li and Fairweather were not only teammates but also competitors, as Fairweather became the first New Zealander to be crowned world champion when she won the 400 free ahead of Li on the opening evening. However, it was Li who came out on top in this race, passing Fairweather at the final turn to win by just over a second.
In addition to Li and Fairweather, other notable swimmers included Siobhan Haughey, who will go up against some of the world’s best in tonight’s 100m breaststroke final. Haughey finished fifth and just outside world record pace with a time of 56.17 seconds. Meanwhile, Janna van Kooten from Netherlands claimed her place into semifinals by finishing fourth with a time of 1:59.41 while Britain’s Lucy Hope missed out on qualification for semis with a time of 2:04.38
Li has never won a medal on global stage in this event before but finished second behind Haughey at Asian Games in September 2023 .