15-year-old Li Bingjie Nabs 1500 Free Chinese & Asian Record


The 2017 National Games of China continued today in Tianjin, with 15-year-old Li Bingjie cranking out yet another impressive performance, After already establishing herself as the new national record holder and Asian record holder in the 400m free with her monster outing of 4:01.75 on night 2, the teen threw down a gold medal-garnering race in the 1500m distance.

Stopping the clock in a time of 15:52.87, Bingjie comfortably surpassed the previous Chinese national record and Asian continental record of 15:58.02 set by Li Xuanxu at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai. In fact, the teen’s time tonight would have placed 3rd at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, finishing behind winner Katie Ledecky of America and silver medalist Mireia Belmonte of Spain.

Bingjie now checks-in as the 12th-fastest performer all-time, with her outing resulting in the placement on the list as follows:

Top 12 women’s 1500m freestyle PERFORMERS All-time

  1. 15:25.48 – Katie Ledecky, 2015
  2. 15:38.88 – Lotte Friis, 2013
  3. 15:40.14 – Lauren Boyle, 2015
  4. 15:42.54 – Kate Ziegler, 2007
  5. 15:44.93 – Alessia Filippi, 15:44.93
  6. 15:47.09 – Boglarka Kapas, 2015
  7. 15:47.26 – Jazmin Carlin – 2013
  8. 15:50.89 – Mireia Belmonte, 2017
  9. 15:52.10 – Janet Evans, 1988
  10. 15:52.17 – Jessica Ashwood, 2015
  11. 15:52.37 – Camelia Potec, 2009
  12. 15:52.87 – Li Bingjie, 2017

After the race, Bingjie stated that her performance “was a surprising time for me and improved my personal best by more than 10 seconds. But on the other hand, it was an acceptable time since my training times were close to it. My goal is to show my best at the Tokyo Olympic Games.”

Bingjie now holds the Chinese national records in the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle events. Her times in each also rank as the Asian continental records.

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3 years ago

Li’s goal is to eradicate Ledecky’s WR and surpass her by Toyko. She said that several times in the interview

Reply to  ann
3 years ago

I suppose it’s possible. We have the precedent and mystery of Ye Shewin splitting 58.6 in the free of her WR 400 IM, and then never coming close to doing that again.

Reply to  ann
2 years ago

Can a Moderator delete that comment? I shouldn’t have just looked at
the secondary Chinese new resources, and “eradicate” is a mistranslation. I also noticed it is the media articles
that keep bringing up the same topic after races, and that’s why it is so repetitive.

3 years ago

She’s the female version of the younger Sun Yang, with the 400, 800 and 1500 records.

I hope the Chinese coaches let her do more than just eat, sleep, and swim.

Do the Chinese women peak before 18? Interesting that they seem to be better at a younger age. Or maybe their ages are faked, like a lot of things from China.

Sean Quinn
Reply to  marklewis
3 years ago

yeah, wish she could be a straight A student like Michael Phelps, 🙂

Reply to  Sean Quinn
3 years ago

Come on man, no reason to go dragging MP into this.

Reply to  marklewis
3 years ago

The age debate is an interesting thing, as for many years it was thought of as biological differences, as like China, Japanese swimmers tended to peak younger. However, recently, Russians have started to peak quite young – Baklakova, Openysheva, Astashkina… that’s a few off the top of my head, who dominated Euro Juniors and failed to improve since. There are many, many more. We’ve seen quite a few Russian boys peaking at 16/17 too. Very interested to see where the likes of Kuimov, Minakov, Girev (who I really think is the real deal heading to Tokyo), Kolesnikov are in a few years time.

Reply to  Dee
3 years ago

Remember that rylov and chupkov were junior prospectors who became the real deal

Reply to  Rafael
3 years ago

Rylov is an interesting one, as he didnt really develop until his last year as a junior. He didnt follow that trend of Russian juniors swimming super fast as 1st & 2nd year juniors then plateauing. His PB at 17 was only 56.9 – He dropped to 54.3 in his last year as a junior and even then was beaten by Guangyuan in the 200, where in his last year as a junior he’d dropped 6s (2.03-1.57). For the majority of his junior years, he wasnt a name anybody actually knew. I was referring to your Sedov’s, Astashkina’s, Baklakova’s, Detenyuk – and the many more whose names have too mant consonants for me to do justice in attempting to spell!… Read more »

Reply to  Dee
3 years ago

In gymnastics they are able to receive up to $60,000 & BMWs if they win medals . They usually sell these & get apartments at a young age . So not really needing to continue on at previous levels .

However Ive always been able to spot former top jnrs at WUGs which Russia has always supported.strongly . I note Ariana did a 54.4 at Wugs behind former jnr Khamaneva.

3 years ago

How tall is li bingjie, can’t see it anywhere.
She looked about the same height as Leah Smith on the podium in Budapest. Leah Smith is listed at 5,10.

Both looked about 1 or 1.5 inches shorter than ledecky and lededcky is listed at 6 feet. Looks more like 5,11nish on the podium with 5,10 leah smith.

Anyway if li bingjie is that tall as seen on the podium with Leah Smith then that height could help with the 200 free.

Great swim by her tho. A 10 second drop. She could improve in the 800 free to.

Reply to  Carlo
3 years ago

173cm(5’8”) now

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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