In Doha, 19-year-old Chinese swimmer Pan Zhanle broke the world record in the 100 meter freestyle with a time of 46.86 seconds. This was a huge accomplishment, as it surpassed the previous record of 46.86 seconds set by someone else. Pan told reporters that breaking the world record came naturally for him and that his goal now is to swim even faster. He also said that he was shocked when he saw the time and that he had wanted to leave it for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. However, he was honored by this achievement and it will be motivation for both young and old swimmers.
In addition to breaking the world record, Pan also helped China win gold in the 4x100m relay along with three other teammates. Italy took silver and bronze in this event. Zhang, who is just 16 years old, also made history by breaking the 50 second barrier in the discipline with a time of 48.62 seconds – though only the leadoff leg of a relay counts towards official record times.
This accomplishment is all the more impressive when one considers that Pan had been feeling under the weather before the race. Qin Haiyan set the current 200m breaststroke record at last year’s World Championships, which further solidifies China’s dominance in international swimming competition.