Li Bingjie Shatters Asian Record in 400 Free En Route to Bronze Medal


In the final of the women’s 400 freestyle, China’s Li Bingjie took down the Asian Record in the event. Racing alongside Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus, Bingjie posted a time of 4:01.08 en route to a bronze medal finish. 

With her performance, Bingjie took down her own Asian record of 4:01.57 that she set during the prelims session. Prior to that, the record stood at a 4:01.75 that Bingjie set at the 2017 Chinese National Games. 

In her finals performance, Bingjie split 58.71/1:01.66/1:01.11/59.66, as compared to her splits of 58.44/1:01.36/1:01.61/1:00.99 during prelims. Although she opened slightly faster in her prelims race, Bingjie swam the second half of the race over a second faster during finals than she did in prelims. 

Bingjie’s closing speed was a big factor in her 3rd place finish, as she was caught in a tight battle with Canadian Summer McIntosh

Full Recap- Written by James Sutherland 


  • World Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 3:56.46 (2016)
  • Olympic Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 3:56.46 (2016)
  • World Junior Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 3:58.37 (2014)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 3:56.46
  • SwimSwam Event Preview – Women’s 400 Freestyle
  1. GOLD: Ariarne Titmus (AUS), 3:56.69
  2. SILVER: Katie Ledecky (USA), 3:57.36
  3. BRONZE: Li Bingjie (CHN), 4:01.08
  4. Summer McIntosh (CAN), 4:02.42
  5. Tang Muhan (CHN), 4:04.10
  6. Isabel Gose (GER), 4:04.98
  7. Paige Madden (USA), 4:06.81
  8. Erika Fairweather (NZL), 4:08.01

In a heavyweight title fight that lived up to the billing, Ariarne Titmus dealt Katie Ledecky a knockout blow on the last 50 of the women’s 400 freestyle, handing the American her first-ever individual Olympic loss.

Ledecky took hold of the lead early and looked firmly in control, sitting over six tenths ahead of Titmus at the 200 in 1:57.44. Titmus started making up ground on the sixth 50, out-splitting Ledecky by half a second, and by the final wall, the Australian had taken the lead.

Titmus then managed to fend off Ledecky coming home, splitting a blistering 28.67 to win gold by close to seven tenths in 3:56.69. That swim for Titmus is the second-fastest ever, breaking her Commonwealth, Oceanian and Australian Record of 3:56.90 set last month at the Olympic Trials.

It is also Australia’s first gold in the pool at these Games.

Despite suffering the loss, Ledecky still registers her second-fastest swim ever in 3:57.36, trailing only her world record of 3:56.46 from the 2016 Games.

China’s Li Bingjie reset her Asian Record for the second time in as many days to claim the bronze in 4:01.08, while 14-year-old stud Summer McIntosh did the same with her Canadian Record, slicing off three tenths in 4:02.42 to take fourth.

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About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is an active …

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