In Doha, 19-year-old Chinese swimmer Pan Zhanle made history by setting a new world record in the 100 meter freestyle. He broke the previous record set in 46.86 seconds and took the lead in the World Championships. Pan shared with reporters that breaking the world record came naturally for him and that his goal now was to swim even faster.
Pan’s accomplishment wasn’t limited to just the 100 meter freestyle as he also helped China ease to 4x100m relay gold in Doha alongside three other teammates. The US and Italy finished in silver and bronze respectively. Notably, Zhang, who is only 16 years old, broke 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.
Despite feeling under the weather before the race, Pan still managed to make an impressive feat. Qin Haiyan set the current 200m breaststroke record at last year’s World Championships making China a dominant force in international swimming. These accomplishments are just some of many achievements that have made China stand out globally in this sport.