China Downs Women’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay Asian Record From 2009


During the women’s 4×100 freestyle prelims on day 1 of the Tokyo 2020 Games, China’s contingent of Cheng Yujie, Zhu Menghui, Ai Yanhan, and Wu Qingfeng threw down a new Chinese and Asian record of 3:35.07. The swim was roughly half a second quicker than the previous records, both of which sat at a 3:35.63 which China swam at the 2009 World Championships for 6th place overall.

Yujie Cheng and Zhesi Li had almost identical opening splits 12 years apart as Cheng opened with a 54.03 to Li’s 54.04. Yanhan Ai was the only woman in 2021 to be slower than the corresponding leg from 2009, hitting a 54.33 to Yi Tang‘s 54.16. Zhu and Wu were big for the Tokyo 2020 relay, both hitting sub-53.50s during their portion of the race.

Split Comparison

2021 Olympic Games 2009 World Championships
1 Cheng Yujie (54.03) Zhesi Li (54.04)
2 Zhu Menghui (53.48) Qian Wei Zhu (53.73)
3 Ai Yanhan (54.33) Yi Tang (54.16)
4 Wu Qingfeng (53.23) Jiaying Pang (53.70)

What makes the national and continental records even more impressive is the fact that the nation managed to pull them off without their top 2 100 freestylers at the meet. Cheng, Zhu, Ai, and Wu put up a solid swim without the help of 100 freestyle Chine record holder Zhang Yufei who’s been a 52.90 in the event, or Yang Junxuan who qualified to swim the event individually in Tokyo. Junxuan is entered to race the 100 free later on in the meet and holds a 10th place seed of 53.21.

Zhang Yufei won’t be racing the 100 freestyle in Tokyo as she’s busy with a lineup consisting of 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, and 50 free. Yufei got things started during day 1 prelims in the 100 butterfly where she and Australian Emma McKeon tied for top seed in the 100 fly with a 55.82. She could realistically be subbed into the 4×100 relay tonight along with Junxuan as the event is set to take place after the 100 butterfly semi-final.

The addition of Junxuan and Yufei could allow for another drop by China and could potentially give the nation its first-ever 3:34 4×100 freestyle.

Tokyo 2020 Women’s 4×100 Freestyle Prelims – Top 8

  1. Australia, 3:31.73
  2. Netherlands, 3:33.51
  3. Canada, 3:33.72
  4. Great Britain, 3:34.03
  5. United States, 3:34.80
  6. China, 3:35.07
  7. Denmark, 3:35.56
  8. Sweden, 3:35.93

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1 year ago

China looking like they could snag silver or bronze.

1 year ago

You going to say anything about the US women?

American Exceptionalism
Reply to  ISpeakTheTruth
1 year ago

America isn’t the only country in the world lmao

Reply to  American Exceptionalism
1 year ago

username doesn’t check out

Reply to  ISpeakTheTruth
1 year ago

You shouldn’t talk about anything ever if you think the US is located in Asia