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China’s Pan Zhanle sets new world record in 100m freestyle to kick off swimming worlds


Feb 12, 2024

Pan Zhanle made history in Doha on Sunday by breaking the men’s 100m freestyle world record as he led China’s gold medal-winning 4x100m free relay team at the world swimming championships. This 19-year-old swimmer clocked in at 46.80 seconds, beating the previous world record set by Romanian David Popovici in 2022. The relay team from China led from start to finish and ultimately won by one second over Italy, with the U.S. taking home the bronze medal.

Pan Zhanle’s impressive performance at the world championships may position him as the favorite in the 100m freestyle race at the Paris Olympics. This race was most recently won in an Olympic record time by American Caeleb Dressel in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Some top swimmers chose not to compete at the world championships in an Olympic year to focus on training for the upcoming Olympic Trials.

In the women’s 4x100m free relay, the Netherlands emerged victorious by overtaking Australia in the final 50 meters, with anchor Marrit Steenbergen posting the fastest split in the field. New Zealand’s Erika Fairweather also made history by becoming the first swimmer from her country to win a world championship title in the women’s 400m free. Another notable victory came from South Korea’s Kim Woo-Min, who won the men’s 400m free by holding off Australian Elijah Winnington, despite the absence of 2023 World champion Sam Short and Olympic gold medalist Ahmed Hafnaoui.

The world championships in Doha continue with finals to be broadcast live on Peacock at 11 a.m. ET. Notable events include American Kate Douglass looking to defend her title in the 200m individual medley.

By Editor

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