19-year-old Chinese swimmer Pan Zhanle has set a new world record in the 100 meter freestyle at the World Championships in Doha. He broke the previous record of 46.86 seconds and took the lead in the competition. Pan told reporters, “Breaking the world record just came naturally. Now my goal is to swim even faster.”
In addition to his individual achievement, Pan also helped China win gold in the 4x100m relay with three other teammates. Italy and the US finished silver and bronze respectively. Zhang, who is just 16 years old, also made history by breaking 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. Despite this, he was able to deliver an outstanding performance and set a new world record. Qin Haiyan also set the current 200m breaststroke record at last year’s World Championships, making China a dominant force in international swimming.