Backstroke WR-Holder Liu Xiang Wins 50 Free To Close Chinese Nationals


Asian Record holder Liu Xiang came away with the 50 free Chinese title on Thursday to close the 2019 Chinese National Championships. The event, attended by a portion, but not all, of the Chinese international group, gave China a chance to experiment with morning finals and evening heats, as will be the standard next year when the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are scheduled in a similar format. In total, 522 swimmers competed at the 9-day meet in Anshan City.

Liu swam a 24.89 to win the women’s 50 free, beating Chen Xinyi (25.20) and Wu Qingfeng (25.32).

The 23-year old is the World Record holder in the 50 meter backstroke and the Asian Record holder in the 50 meter free, where her best is a 24.04 from 2017. She was 9th in the 50 free, her only event, at the World Championships this year in 24.46 after losing a swimoff for the final.

Liu took on a new strategy in the race, doing a one-breather for the first time.

“I tried to use one breath to swim the whole 50 meters for the first time at this meet. And I did it during preliminary, semifinals and final. I felt great,” Liu said of her new strategy.

Meanwhile, Ji Xinjie took his 4th title of the meet by winning the men’s 1500 free in 15:25.14. Taking advantage of Sun Yang’s absence, Ji swept the 4 longest freestyle events at the meet: previously the 200 free (1:47.12), 400 free (3:48.49), and 800 free (8:01.65).

In the only other individual final of the day, Yu Hexin won the men’s 50 free in 22.69. Zhejiang dominated both relays.

Thurdsay Finals Results


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Thanks for covering the action in China. It used to be that their projected performances at international meets was in the dark.


That has to be one of the most under the radar WRs off all time (swim swam article about it only has 5 comments) I’m not sure why, it happened at the Asian Games which is one if the world’s biggest meets.

Even worse still I forget that Liu Xiang was the same women who went 24.04 in the 50 free from China.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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