Li Bingjie Clocks 800 Free Time That Would Have Earned Tokyo Bronze


The 2021 China National Games are nearing their conclusion but not before several Olympians attempt to end the competition in style.

Li Bingjie was back at it, for instance, tonight taking the women’s 800m free in commanding fashion. Hitting the wall in a time of 8:17.39, Li cleared the field by over 7 seconds. Runner-up status went to Tang Muhan in 8:25.24 while Wang Jianjiahe, the 5th place finisher in this event at this summer’s Olympic Games, posted 8:25.48 for bronze.

As for 19-year-old Li, her time here crushed what she produced at the Olympic Games this summer. There in Tokyo, she logged 8:22.49 to place 10th and find herself out of the final.

If she had instead ripped a mark as she did tonight, she would have come away with the bronze medal behind winner Katie Ledecky of the United States (8:12.57) and Ariarne Titmus of Australia (8:13.83).

Li represents China’s 2nd fastest performer ever in this event, owning a lifetime best of 8:15.46 from the 2017 FINA World Championships. However, her 8:17.39 performance here ranks as the 3rd fastest time ever produced by a Chinese woman.

In other events, the women’s 200m back saw Peng Xuwei grab gold, posting a winning effort of 2:08.54, while Wang Changhao topped the men’s 100m fly podium in 51.65 to beat Li Zhuhao‘s runner-up performance of 51.98.

The men’s and women’s 50m free semi-finals also took place today, with Yu Hexin leading the pack in the former in 21.94 while Liu Xiang is the woman to beat in the latter with a top seed of 24.23.

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1 year ago

Of note is that Li Bingjie negative-split her race, going out in 4:10.33 and coming back in 4:07.06

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