In Doha, 19-year-old Chinese swimmer Pan Zhanle set a new world record in the 100 meter freestyle. He broke the previous record of 46.86 seconds and took the lead in the World Championships. Pan told reporters that breaking the world record just came naturally, and now his goal is to swim even faster. He was shocked when he saw the time and didn’t expect to break it, but he is honored by the achievement and motivated for both young and old swimmers.
Along with three other teammates, Pan helped China ease to 4x100m relay gold in Doha. Italy and the US took silver and bronze respectively. Notably, Zhang, who is just 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.
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. These are just some of the accomplishments that have made China a dominant force in international swimming.