Not To Be Missed, Zhang Yufei Crushes 55.81 Fly For 8th Fastest Medley Split


  • Wednesday, July 29th – Friday, July 31st
  • Shandong Province, China
  • 50m (LCM)
  • Day 1 Recap
  • Day 2 Recap
  • Results via Chinese app

The Chinese National Team’s Summer Test Competition wrapped up today in Shandong Province, China, where several Olympians and World Championships athletes put up notable swims to prep for August’s Nationals. You can refresh yourself on the overall recaps via the links in the bullet points above; however, one particular prelims swim was worth a post all its own.

We reported how 22-year-old Zhang Yufei busted out the best 100m fly time of her life during the heats of the individual event on Friday, producing an outing of 56.47 to get under the 57 second mark for the first time in her career.

She proved that kind of performance, one that would have garnered the Chinese swimmer bronze at last year’s FINA World Aquatic Championships, wasn’t a fluke by striking down the 57-second barrier once again in the final. She ultimately hit a time of 56.68 to win the time trial against her peers.

One day earlier, Zhang was a member of the winning mixed medley relay team that punched a collective time of 3:40.56 in the final to fall just .12 outside of the Chinese national record. Zhang crushed a leg of 56.11 to help bring her squad to the wall first.

Falling under the radar, however, was the fact that Zhang was even quicker on the fly leg of that same relay in the morning heats. Again teamed up with Xu Jiayu, Yan Zibei and Yang Junxuan, Zhang blew away her competition with a split of 55.81.

Zhang launched herself off the blocks in a 25.50 opener and held on to close her leg in a final 50m of 30.31 to clock that head-turning 55.81.

According to USA Swimming’s database of all-time fastest relay splits, although it’s an unofficial time trial, Zhang’s 55.81 fly would rank 8th in terms of the quickest performances – ever. Zhang herself would rank as the 5th fastest fly relay performer for women all-time.

All-Time Women’s LCM Fastest 100 Fly Relay Splits

  1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 55.03, 2017 World Championships
  2. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 55.28, 2015 World Championships
  3. (TIE) Rikako Ikee (JPN) – 55.48, 2018 Pan Pacific Championships*/Dana Vollmer (USA) – 55.48, 2012 Olympic Games*
  4. Rikako Ikee (JPN) – 55.53, 2018 Pan Pacific Championships
  5. Maggie MacNeil (CAN) – 55.56, 2019 World Championships
  6. Dana Vollmer (USA) – 55.74, 2011 World Championships
  7. Zhang Yufei (CHN) – 55.81, Chinese National Team Time Trial* (unofficial)


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3 months ago

Not to diminish this swim, but is there any drug testing going on? I just don’t trust the chinese swimming federation not to take advantage of this covid situation.

Reply to  Snarky
3 months ago

“Not to diminish this swim” was your first lie.

Karl Ortegon
Reply to  Snarky
3 months ago


Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Snarky
3 months ago

I don’t think there is in-competition drug testing in any of those unofficial time trials around the world, including this one, but I just want to know what advantage one could have by swimming a fast unoffical time in an unofficial meet.
The results of other swimmers who competed in this meet are pretty normal, so it could be just her who should have had a breakout year in 2020.

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Snarky
3 months ago

When a US swimmer set a PB in season: Absolutely on fire. He’ll definitely be even faster and take a medal/gold/break a world record at Olympics.
When a Chinese swimmer set a PB in season: How can one swim so fast this time in season? Must be on drugs.

When a US swimmer be far slower than his PB in season: Must be in heavy training. There’s no problem he will improve by 5s and take medals/gold/break WR at the Olympics.
When a Chinese swimmer be far slower than his PB in season: How can he be so slow in season but improve by 3s and take medals at Olympics? Must be on drugs.

Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
3 months ago

Hmmmm it’s almost like One of the countries has had state run doping programs in the past

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  50free
3 months ago

How many current Chinese swimmers were already born in 1994?

Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
3 months ago

Ur right, that country is completely honest and morally on the up and up since then

3 months ago

She has some guts in her since that 56.6 mixed medley relay split right after a 206 200 fly final in Asian Games 2018.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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