Yan Zibei feels Super Cool to break third Asian record in breaststroke at Gwangju

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-23 19:16:18|Editor: Wu Qin
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GWANGJU, South Korea, July 23 (Xinhua) -- "Super cool" was the word after Chinese swimmer Yan Zibei continued to break his third Asian record by winning the first Chinese medal in the men's breaststroke in 21 years at the 18th FINA World Swimming Championships here on Tuesday.

Yan broke Asian record with a time of 26.83 seconds in the preliminaries of the 50m breaststroke and tied him for sixth place finisher overall in 78 heat swimmers. The previous record was held by Japan's Yasuhiro Koseki, who finished in 26.94 seconds last year at the Mare Nostrum tour.

"Super cool! Success in 100m boosted my confidence. I felt like to enjoy the race!" Yan said.

It was the third Asian record in three days for Yan, who twice bettered the Asian mark in the 100m breaststroke 58.67 in semifinal and 58.63 in final where Yan grabbed a bronze medal, the first medal for Chinese men's breaststroke at the worlds in 21 years since Zeng Qiliang took the silver medal in the 1998 Perth worlds. British swimmers Adam Peaty and James Wilby wrapped up a one-two finish in the 100m breaststroke.

"Breaking Asian records for three times showed I am way more stable and confident in my swimming. That is a very good experience for me. I have worked better and better together with my coach," Yan noted.

Yan admitted he was upset last year for the two silvers medals behind the Japanese swimmers, though he anchored the winning team in the 4x100m medley relay at the Jakarta Asian Games.

"I was upset last year but thanks to my coach Zheng Shan who helped me go through the barriers and difficult times. I wanted to do my best," Yan revealed.

Yan placed seventh in 100m in the Budapest worlds and now bronze medal in Gwangju.

"I was nervous two years ago and so I was in the 100m heat two days ago. Then I suddenly pulled away all the nerves and focused on my own races."

Yan said the improvement is based on mental strength. "Being upset made me a stronger and better person at swimming. I would love to challenge myself in the coming races," the 23-year-old said.