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Pan Zhanle Takes China to 4x100m Free Gold and Breaks World Record


Feb 12, 2024

The 19-year-old split 46.80 seconds on the opening 100m leg to shave six hundredths off of Romanian David Popovici’s now former World Record. Pan began with a blistering pace, splitting 22.26 over the opening 50m, then came back in the second half in 24.54. Popovici set the previous record at the 2022 European Championships, which came hot off the heels of winning two global titles at the World Aquatics Championships – Budapest 2022.

With the opening lead, China didn’t look back as Ji Xinjie, Zhang Zhanshuo and Wang Haoyu won in 3:11.08. Italy took silver in 3:12.08 and the United States bronze in 3:12.29. Pan alluded to the prospect of more record-breaking efforts after the race, saying, “I believe I can go faster than today’s time. Breaking the World Record just came naturally and now my goal is to swim even faster.”

Pan came into Doha with one world championship medal in his career, a silver from the 4x100m Medley Relay at the World Aquatics Championships – Fukuoka 2023. Following Fukuoka, Pan won three golds at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. This included a win in the men’s 100m freestyle event where he set his previous personal best of 46.97, making him the fifth-fastest man in history – before tonight.

By Editor

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