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News > China

Chinese Athletes Shatter World Record in 4x200 Freestyle Relay

  • Chinese team at the awarding ceremony after the women's 4x200m freestyle relay final of swimming, Tokyo, Japan, July 29, 2021.

    Chinese team at the awarding ceremony after the women's 4x200m freestyle relay final of swimming, Tokyo, Japan, July 29, 2021. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 29 July 2021 (5 hours 14 minutes ago)
Opinion

Besides the achievements of these swimmers, the Asian country hopes its 59 athletes will also make history at Tokyo 2020.

On Thursday, China broke world record to win women's 4x200m freestyle relay at Tokyo 2020. The Chinese team clocked seven minutes and 40.33 seconds, 1.17 faster than the previous record of 7:41.50 held by the Australians.

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The United States finished second in 7:40.73, thanks to a fast 200m from six-time Olympic gold medalist Kathleen Ledecky. The Aussies took the bronze in 7:41.29.

Yang Junxuan set an early lead for China and Tang Muhan recovered the advantage though Australian challenger Emma McKeon caught up in the middle. Zhang Yufei, fresh from her 200m butterfly gold just an hour earlier, maintained a 0.43 second advantage over second-place Australia before Li Bingjie jumped into the water. Li, 19, fended off the challenge from her idol Ledecky to win the gold for China.

Besides the achievements of these swimmers, China hopes that its 59 athletes will also make history at Tokyo 2020. Yang Jiayu, Liu Hong (both women's 20km race walk) and Gong Lijiao (women's shot put) are China's top medal hopefuls at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.

The 32-year-old Gong, who won bronze in 2008 and silver in 2012, is eager to complete her career with a gold medal that has eluded her for over a decade. Gong displayed good form in June when she threw world-leading marks of 20.31 and 20.39 meters consecutively at China's national championships.

"Earlier I said my goal was to throw over 20 meters, now I have made it. I am expecting to be better in Tokyo. The gold medal is within my reach," said the two-time world champion. If Gong's dream comes true in Tokyo, it would be China's first ever Olympic gold in field events.

Another event to watch is the women's 20km race walk, where Yang Jiayu and defending champion Liu Hong will compete. Yang completed the fastest ever women's 20km race walk earlier this year, clocking one hour, 23 minutes and 49 seconds at the Chinese Race Walking Championships in Huangshan in March. That took 49 seconds off the previous world record of 1:24:38 set by Liu Hong.

"I hope I can maintain such good form. My expectation for the Olympics is at least a podium finish and the gold medal is the ultimate goal," said Yang. "I believe the Olympic gold medal will belong to China."

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