HANGZHOU, 2 May (BelTA - Xinhua). - China's rising star Pan Zhanle broke the men's 100m freestyle Asian record at the swimming national championships here on Monday.
Pan, 18, led all the way to win the 100m free in 47.22 seconds, 0.34 seconds faster than the old Asian record. Wang Haoyu was second in 48.15, while Chen Juner came third in 48.94.
"It is beyond my expectation," said Pan. "My time was always around 47.50 in training."
Pan's result ranked first in the event's world rankings this year, beating world champion David Popovici's year best of 47.61 made at the Romanian national championships in April.
"I hope I can be one of the world best swimmers and compete with David Popovici one day," he added.
Pan had broken the short-course 100m free Asian record at the short course swimming worlds in Melbourne last year.
In the women's 200m butterfly, Olympic champion Zhang Yufei grabbed the gold in 2:07.99, which was far behind her training time. Yu Liyan came second in 2:08.33, while Zhang Yipan was third in 2:09.79.
"My coach and I had expected a time around 2:05.00," said Zhang, who won the women's 200m butterfly and 4x200m freestyle relay Olympic golds at Tokyo 2020.
In the men's 200m medley, Tokyo Olympic champion Wang Shun led all the way to the gold in 1:55.55. Qin Haiyang finished second in 1:57.79.
Two-time men's 100m backstroke world champion Xu Jiayu also showed his strength in his signature event as he timed 52.47 to win the 100m back.
Li Bingjie claimed the women's 1,500m freestyle in 15:51.21.
Also on Monday, Tang Qianting touched first in 30.88 to win the women's 50m breaststroke, while Team Zhejiang won the women's 4x100m freestyle relay with 3:38.07.
The national championships, running from May 1 to 6, also serves as a qualifier for the swimming worlds in Fukuoka, Japan in July and the Hangzhou Asian Games in September.