At the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, 19-year-old Chinese swimmer Pan Jianjun broke Romanian David Popovici’s World Record of 46.80 seconds in the opening leg of the 100m freestyle race. With a time of 46.74 seconds, Pan shaved off six hundredths of a second from Popovici’s record.
Pan came into the competition with only one world championship medal in his career, a silver from the 4x100m Medley Relay at the World Aquatics Championships – Fukuoka 2023. However, following his success in Fukuoka, Pan won three golds at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. His win in the men’s 100m freestyle event saw him set his previous personal record of 46.97 seconds, making him the fifth-fastest man in history before tonight’s race.
In Doha, Pan was part of a strong Chinese team that won gold in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay with a time of 3:11.08. Ji Xinjie and Zhang Zhanshuo also contributed to the victory with their excellent performances on the second and third legs respectively. The United States took silver in this event with a time of 3:12.29 while Italy finished third with a time of 3:12.08.