Li Bingjie of Hebei reacts after the women's 400m freestyle swimming final at 13th Chinese National Games in north China's Tianjin Municipality, Sept. 1, 2017. Li Bingjie won the gold medal with 4 minutes and 01.75 seconds. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)
TIANJIN, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Teenage sensation Li Bingjie of Hebei gave the full-house audience a big surprise as she timed in an Asian record in the women's 400m freestyle at the 13th Chinese National Games here on Friday.
Li, the 800m runner-up and 400m bronze medalist of freestyle in the FINA World Championships in Budapest last month, dominated the 400 event here to clock in four minutes and 1.75 seconds for an Asian record.
The previous Asian mark of 4:02.35 was set by Chen Qian in the 2009 National Games.
Zhang Yuhan of the Chinese Army delegation (PLA) took the silver in 4:04.66 and Bi Wenxin of Shandong came in third with a time of 4:05.57.
"It's an unexpected result as I just returned from the worlds one month ago. My coach helped me a lot to improve my physical training, and I just hope to compete in more competition for experience," said Li, who also renewed the women's 800m freestyle Asian record to 8:15.46 in Budapest in July.
The 15-year-old, nicknamed Lady Sun Yang by China's swimming fans, claimed the women's 4X200m freestyle relay silver together with teammates Ai Yanhan, Zhang Yuhan and Lui Zixuan besides her own 800m silver and 400m bronze.
"I will try my best to get more records and more medals. I don't mind I was given a nickname as Lady Sun Yang because we are all long-distance freestyle swimmers. I wish to win more for China together with Sun and all other Chinese swimmers," Li said.
Sun Yang, who just celebrated his 100th gold medal of career after storming into the 400m freestyle in a second fastest time of the year on Aug.31, finished atop in the men's 200m freestyle semifinals with comfortable 1:47.84.
Sun later joined in a mixed quartet featuring Wang Shun, Xu Jiayu of Zhejiang and Du Jingqian from Hong Kong and scored the fastest split 48.00 among all the swimmers in the 4X100m freestyle relay. However, his team was 0.39 shy of the winning combination of Henan, Liaoning and Guangdong swimmers, finishing second in 3:15.09.
"I am satisfied with my 100m result because it means I could swim faster in my favorite 200, 400 and 800. It also boosts my confidence in the short distance. The more important thing is that I can do more for our Chinese relay team," Sun said.
In the men's 100m breaststroke, Yan Zibei of Hubei claimed the title in 59.23 and Qin Haiyang of PLA clocked in his personal best of 59.57 for a silver, while Zhou Yilin of Hebei edged pre-meet favorite Zhang Yufei of Jiangsu for the crown by 0.03 seconds in the women's 100m butterfly in 57.41.