19TH ASIAN GAMES
- Sunday, September 24th – Friday, September 29th (swimming)
- Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Aquatic Sports Arena, Hangzhou, China
- LCM (50m)
- Meet Central
The 19th Asian Games kicked off today from Hangzhou, China and the swimmers wasted no time firing off head-turning performances in virtually every event.
Multiple continental and national records bit the dust but among them were also Games Records on both the men’s and the women’s sides.
We’ve already reported on the men’s 100m free, women’s 50m breast and men’s 200m IM events:
- Pan Zhanle Rips 46.97 as 5th-Fastest 100m Freestyle Performer Ever (Video)
- Tang Qianting Produces 29.92 Asian Record in Women’s 50m Breast
- Wang Shun Crushes 1:54.62 200m IM as 3rd-best Performer in History
Women’s 200m Fly
Right off the bat in the first event of the evening, Zhang Yufei of the host nation produced a winning time of 2:05.57 to easily defeat the women’s 200m fly field en route to gold.
Olympic multi-gold medalist Zhang opened in 59.14 and closed in 1:06.43 to get to the wall nearly 3 seconds ahead of the field. Coming in for silver was teammate Yu Liyan who touched in 2:08.31 for silver while Japan’s Hiroko Makino rounded out the top 3 in 2:09.22.
As for Zhang, her time here ranks as the 4th-swiftest time of her career, one which boasts a personal best of 2:03.86 from when she took Olympic gold in Tokyo.
The previous Asian Games Record stood at the 2:05.79 China’s Jiao Liuyang put on the books over a decade ago at the 2010 edition of this competition.
25-year-old Zhang successfully defended her title from the 2018 Asian Games, knocking over a second off of the 2:06.61 she put up for gold there in Jakarta.
Women’s 1500m Freestyle
Li Bingjie made her presence known on day one as well, with the 21-year-old logging a time of 15:51.18 to come out on top of the women’s 1500m free field.
Bingjie represented the sole competitor of the pack to get under the 16:00 barrier, as teammate Gao Weizhong clocked 16:05.73 for silver while Japan’s Yukimi Miroyama bagged bronze in 16:17.78.
The previous Asian Games Record stood at the 15:53.68 China’s Wang Jianjiahe established at the 2018 edition of the competition in Jakarta. There, Li settled for silver in a time of 15:53.80 so the Olympian managed to knock over 2 seconds off of that previous performance.
This year at the World Championships, Li reaped silver in her best-ever performance of 15:45.71. That rendered her as China’s 2nd-fastest performer in history, with only Wang ranked #1 in her national record mark of 15:41.49 from the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Men’s 100m Backstroke
Xu successfully defended his title from 2018, with this year’s effort knocking .11 off of his own previous Games Record mark of 52.34 registered 5 years ago.
This time around, Xu opened in 25.05 and brought it home in 27.18 to get the job done, with Irie settling for silver while Korean Lee Juho also landed on the podium in 53.54 as the bronze medalist.
28-year-old Xu’s time this evening beat out the 52.64 he produced in Fukuoka to place 4th at this year’s World Championships. Had he hit a result like tonight’s 52.23, he would have taken the silver, just .01 outside of American Ryan Murphy‘s world title-capturing result of 52.22.
Xu remains China’s national record holder, courtesy of his lifetime best of 51.86 notched at the 2017 Chinese Championships.
Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay
The final night of the evening also saw its Games Record go down, as the Chinese foursome of Yang Junxuan, Cheng Yujie, Wu Qingfeng and Zhang Yufei collectively stopped the clock in an effort of 3:33.96.
Yang opened in 53.86 and handed it off to Cheng who notched a split of 53.07. Wu kept up the speed with a 3rd leg of 53.84 before Zhang finished the race in 53.19.
The previous Asian Games Record stood at the 3:36.52 Japan put on the books in 2018, so China upgraded its silver medal position from 5 years ago.
This time around, Japan placed 2nd in 3:38.48 while Hong Kong earned the bronze in 3:39.10.
At this year’s World Championships, the same quartet established a new Asian Record, with their time of 3:32.40 earning the bronze in Fukuoka. In that swim, Cheng led off in 53.39, Yang notched 53.53, Wu was 52.64 and Zhang hit 52.84 as the anchor athlete.