Chinese Women Remain Undefeated With Games Record In 800 Free Relay


China kept their unbeaten streak alive in the women’s 800 free relay at the Asian Games on day 3 in Jakarta, as they lowered their 2010 record of 7:51.81 by over three seconds in 7:48.61. The Chinese women have now won all six 800 free relays contested at the Games going back to 1998 in Bangkok.

They were led off by Li Bingjie in 1:56.94, opening up an advantage of over seven-tenths over Japan’s Chihiro Igarashi (1:57.69). They then had their fastest split come on the second leg, as Wang Jianjiahe threw down a 1:55.35, but failed to gain any ground on Japan as Rikako Ikee posted the top split in the field in 1:55.27. However, they pulled away comfortably on the back-half with Zhang Yuhan (1:58.37) and Yang Junxuan (1:57.95) bringing them into the finish over five seconds ahead of Japan.

Below, check out a split comparison of the new and old records from the Chinese teams. Going leg-by-leg, all of the splits are fairly close to each other than Wang’s 1:55.3 on the #2 leg, out-splitting Liu Jing‘s 1:58.07 by 2.72 seconds.

China, 2010 China, 2018
Zhu Qianwei – 1:57.04 Li Bingjie – 1:56.94
Liu Jing – 1:58.07 Wang Jianjiahe – 1:55.35
Wang Shijia – 1:58.18 Zhang Yuhan – 1:58.37
Tang Yi – 1:58.52 Yang Junxuan – 1:57.95
7:51.81 7:48.61

Japan faded towards the end but still was a clear 2nd in 7:53.83. Earlier this month at the Pan Pacific Championships they were nearly five seconds faster – 7:48.96 – swimming the same lineup. Their biggest discrepancy between those two swims came from Yui Ohashi, who was 2:01.33 here after winning the 400 IM earlier in the session. In Tokyo she split 1:58.10.

While China’s swim is quicker than Japan was at Pan Pacs, it falls short of the medalists there: Australia (7:44.12), the U.S. (7:44.37) and Canada (7:47.28). They were, however, faster than everyone at the European Championships, making them the 4th-fastest nation this year.

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It looks like WANG JIANJIAHE becomes the leading Chinese swimmer in 200 free. It’s kind of surprising for the swimmer who swims 15.53 in 1500. It is also strange that she isn’t listed in individual 200free event tomorrow. With such great time shown in this relay there is a good opportunity for her to beat Li Bingjie in 400 and 800 races showing impressive times.
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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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