China’s Liu Xiang Becomes First Woman Sub-27 In 50 Back At Asian Games (WORLD RECORD)


China’s Liu Xiang took down one of the vaunted 2009 super-suit world records to open the third session of swimming at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, as she clocked a time of 26.98 in the women’s 50 backstroke. That swim breaks the previous record held by her countrymate Zhao Jing, who had held the record for nine years at 27.06.

Liu had been 27.40 earlier this year, which was her personal best time, so this record swim came a little bit out of nowhere. She did so beating fellow Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui, the 2015 World Championship gold medalist and 2017 silver medalist, head-to-head. Fu was previously the 2nd-fastest performer in history at 27.11, but is now bumped to 3rd. Liu’s only major international medal prior to this swim came at those Worlds in Kazan where she won bronze in this event.

Fu won silver in 27.68, and Japan’s Natsumi Sakai took bronze in 27.91.

This is historically a dominant race for China, as they now hold down the three-fastest performers in history in Liu, Zhao and Fu, and they also now occupy six of the top ten swims in history (with Fu having six of them):

Fastest Performances Ever
1 Liu Xiang 26.98
2 Zhao Jing 27.06
3 Fu Yuanhui 27.11
4 Etiene Medeiros 27.14
5 Fu Yuanhui 27.15
6 Fu Yuanhui 27.16
7 Fu Yuanhui 27.18
8 Etiene Medeiros 27.18
9 Fu Yuanhui 27.19
10 Fu Yuanhui 27.21

Liu is the sixth swimmer to break an individual world record this year, joining Kliment KolesnikovAdam PeatyAndrii GovorovKatie Ledecky and Kathleen Baker.

China remains undefeated in the event at the Asian Games, now winning four straight since it was first contested in 2006.

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He said What?
5 years ago

That was beautiful! Thank you for the video, Love To Swim!

Love to Swim
5 years ago

Video of the WR race:

Love to Swim
5 years ago

I was hoping Fu Yuanhui the one to break WR and we get another round of Yuanhui’s goofy reaction and fun interview.

tea rex
Reply to  Love to Swim
5 years ago

My thought exactly.

Have to feel a little bad for Fu – she’s been so close to the record so many times, then Liu comes out of nowhere and gets it.

Reply to  tea rex
5 years ago

Not exactly of nowhere. She was bronze medalist in Kazan, also very good at 50 freestyle

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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