Chinese Swimmers Break 50, 100, 200 Free World Records in One Race


  • Wednesday, September 7 – Sunday, September 18, 2016
  • Swimming: Thursday, September 8 – Saturday, September 17, 2016
  • Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Prelims 9:30 AM / Finals 5:30 PM (local time)
  • IPC World Records
  • Live stream links: NBC / IPC
  • Schedule/Results

Chinese swimmers Liu Benying and Liankang Zou have put up one of the most stunning performances yet, in any sport, of the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games.

The S2-classified performers broke three World Records on Sunday evening in the same swim.

In IPC-sanctioned swimming, athletes have to make a special pre-race application to have split times considered as World Records (it’s more common in IPC swimming than able-bodied swimming because of the nature of turns, for example, being more of a challenge for some athletes than a benefit).

And Benying has done just that and had his 100 meter splits recognized as World Records by the IPC en route to his record-breaking 200 meter final swim.

What’s more shocking is that the swim was far-and-away clear of each of the three records.

The Records:

  • At the 50, Zou’s split was 50.65. The old record was 58.43 – 7 seconds slower. He broke that World Record by 13.3%. The old record was set in 2014 by Russian Dmitri Kokarev.
  • At the 100, Liu touched in 1:46.63. The old record was 2:03.71 set in 2012 by then-15-year-old countrymate Yang Yang. He broke that record by 13.8%.
  • At the race’s conclusion, Liu finished in 3:41.54. That’s an incredible 21 seconds better than the old World Record of 4:12.76 held again by Kokarev.

In the final touch, the 200 free, there were actually three swimmers better than the old World Record (and none of them were Kokarev, because of Russia being barred wholesale from the Paralympics). Liankang Zou, also of China, touched 2nd in 3:42.68 and Serhil Palamarchuk of Ukraine was 3rd in 3:43.69.

All three swimmers were well under the old World Records at each split. Though 4th place finisher Yang Yang (former 100 free record holder) was almost 28 seconds slower to the full race, he too was better than his old World Record at the 100 meter split.


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How can people trust Paralympic sport? 3 swimmers breaking a WR by 20s?


gold medals evidently have some kind of healing power.




It’s for a 200, not a 400. And sure, a para olympic swimmer could do this without anyone second guessing it. I mean, I watched the guy for the USA swim 100 freestyle and he was blind. Or the woman break the world record in the 100 fly and she was deaf…but, honestly, she was quite fast, i think she went 1:04 100LCM fly. What is that, 54-55 in yards? That’s pretty good.


The woman who broke the fly record is deaf and blind, it’s Becca Myers. Being deaf doesn’t qualify for para swimming, but vision impaired does. Myers swam in the finals at the NCAA DIII Championships. She’s fast.


There are some really good athletes. A blind Irish T&F sprinter has a best of 10.2 for 100m. Women’s visually impaired champ went 11.9. They are pretty decent.

Beth Firth (swimming) has 50-200 free 26.2, 56.0, 2.02.0… 100 back 1.04.0 and 50 fly 27.5…

There are some really high level athletes in the less severe classifications.


I don’t know much about Paralympic swimming but looking at those splits they got me thinking…. Old record – 58.43. Went a 50.65… At the 200 he touched at 1:46.63 which means he went a 55.98 on the second 100 which means he broke the 100 record again… On his 2nd 100… Something seems unrealistic. That’s like if phelps were to go 46.91 (current WR) in his first 100 meters and come back a 45 which is just unreal.


No it was just a 200 free not a 400 free. He was 50.6 at the 50 and 1:46 at the 100 en route to a 3:41 200 freestyle.

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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