SWIMMING AT THE 2018 ASIAN GAMES
China’s Yan Zibei broke both his own Chinese National and the Asian Games Records in the men’s 50 breaststroke during the sixth and final preliminary session from Jakarta, putting up a time of 27.06 to lower his previous national mark of 27.16 from this year’s Chinese Nationals.
The previous Games Record belonged to Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Balandin, who had gone 27.78 in 2014. A total of five men were under that mark during the prelims, as Yan was followed by Asian Record holder Yasuhiro Koseki (27.28), Vladislav Mustafin who broke his own Uzbekistani Record (27.41), his Chinese teammate Sun Jiajun (27.48) and Balandin himself (27.53). All eight finalists were sub-28, with Chao Man Hou of Macau adding another National Record in 27.97 for a tie of 7th (with Japanese IMer Daiya Seto).
In the world rankings for the year, Yan moves up from being in a tie for 20th into a tie for 15th, dead-locked with American Kevin Cordes and Slovenian Peter John Stevens.
In the final he will look to disrupt Koseki’s attempt at the breaststroke treble, as the Japanese swimmer won both the 100 and 200 earlier in the meet. Yan was the runner-up to him in the 100m distance. Koseki’s Asian Record stands at 26.94 from earlier this year in Monaco.