2018 Asian Games Arrival: Battle Between Li Bingjie & Wang Jianjiahe

Video courtesy of Ye Zhu.

16-year-old Li Bingjie is looking to make her mark on the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, mirroring teammate Sun Yang‘s stacked schedule of racing the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle events. Li is ranked in the top 5 in the world in both the 400m and 1500m freestyle races with the 4:01.75 and 15:52.87 season-bests already produced in the lead-up to these Games. Her time of 4:01.75, seen in the video above, checked-in as a new Chinese national and Asian continental record for the emerging ace when she threw it down at last September’s China Games.

Prior to that, Li took home 2 individual medals from the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. The teen won silver in the 800m freestyle and bronze in the 400m freestyle, while also taking silver as a member of her nation’s 4x200m freestyle relay.

However, another 16-year-old Chinese woman in the form of Wang Jianjiahe is ready to rumble and take on her domestic rival in Jakarta. Wang is ranked 5th in the world in both the 400m and 800m with respective times of 4:03.14 and 8:18.09, while she sits 4th in the 1500m with her season-best of 15:53.01.

With the pair so closely linked together times-wise, we’ll be looking for some intense freestyle battles to take place in the middle of the pool come the competition in Indonesia. That was the scene in April at the Chinese Spring Nationals, where Wang beat Bingjie in the 1500m free. Though Wang didn’t top Li’s time of 15:52.87 from last September, she did go 15:53.01 to move to #2 in the world and beat Li’s 15:58.29 for the national title.

The duo’s weakest event is the 200m free, where Japan’s Rikako Ikee looks primed to take the Asian Games title after blasting a new personal best and Asian Record of 1:54.85 en route to silver behind Canada’s Taylor Ruck at the recent Pan Pacific Championships. Ikee’s teammate Chihiro Igarashi finished 7th in that race and will look to carry Ikee’s momentum into Jakarta. Additionally, China’s Zhang Yuhan and Quiu Yuhan are viable minor medal contenders in the 200m free event.

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He Said What?
2 years ago

They will both be under 4

2 years ago

Why didn’t Li Bingjie swim at Pan Pac’s?

Reply to  CHEEZ
2 years ago

This is more important to them

Love to Swim
Reply to  CHEEZ
2 years ago

Because Asian Games is much more important and prestigious than Pan Pacs.

Japan had all their top swimmers in Pan Pacs just because they hosted it.

Didn’t you notice that with the exception of Japanese swimmers, no other top Asian swimmers swam Pan Pacs?

Reply to  Love to Swim
2 years ago

Yes just how commonwealth games are important to Aussies Canadians South Africans and British swimmers .. being in the same year as pan pacs has really reduced pan pacs prestige compared to those other mini Olympic events

2 years ago

All season long Li Binggie swam exactly the same times no matter what meet she was at: Chinese Nationals or early PPS stop or LA invitational. It was good but not really impressive. Last year when she was 4:01 and 8:15 the picture with her in-season times was different. Her performance at these Games may tell a lot of what to expect from her in the future.
I think that Wang Jianjiahe is one year younger than Li Bingjie but they both were mentioned in the article as 16 years old.

Andrew Mering
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

They were both called 16 year olds in the article because they are both 16 years old. Jianjiahe is about 4.5 months younger. She turned 16 in July.

Reply to  Andrew Mering
2 years ago

Thanks. Kids sure do grow up fast! 😀

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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