CHINESE SWIMMING MEET – ZHAOQING
- Friday, March 5th – Sunday, March 7th
- Zhaoqing, China
- LCM (50m)
- Day 1 Recap
- Results via Asian Media
While competing on day 2 of the Chinese Swimming Meet in Zhaoqing, a meet reserved for the top 16 athletes from the 2020 National Swimming Championships, 19-year-old Yang Junxuan established a new national and Asian continental record in the women’s 200m freestyle.
Stopping the clock in a final mark of 1:54.70, Yang’s gold medal-worthy performance here overtakes the previous Chinese national record of 1:54.98, a result she produced herself in January of 2020. Yang’s previous Chinese national standard represented the first time a woman from her nation had ever delved under the 1:55 barrier in the 200m freestyle.
Tonight, Yang opened in 56.14 and brought it home in 58.84 to beat the field handily en route to her historic 1:54.70 performance. In terms of Asian Record status, her time shaves .15 off of the previous standard of 1:54.85 held by Japan’s Rikako Ikee since the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships.
Yang now enters the all-time rankings in slot #10, bumping retired American Olympian Missy Franklin from the top 10.
All-Time Women LCM 200 Freestyle Performers:
- Federica Pellegrini (ITA) – 1:52.98, 2009
- Allison Schmitt (USA) – 1:53.61, 2012
- Katie Ledecky (USA) – 1:53.73, 2016
- Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 1:54.08, 2016
- Ariarne Titmus (AUS) – 1:54.27, 2019
- Taylor Ruck (CAN) – 1:54.44, 2018
- Emma McKeon (AUS) – 1:54.55, 2019
- Camille Muffat (FRA) – 1:54.66, 2012
- Femke Heemskerk (NED) – 1:54.68, 2015
- Yang Junxuan (CHN) – 1:54.70, 2021
In January of this year at the first meet in this two-part domestic series, Yang clocked a time of 1:55.65 to wear the crown atop the world rankings for the season. This outing further distances her apart from the rest of the world thus far.
For additional perspective, consider that Yang took silver in this women’s 200m free event at the 2018 Asian Games in a time of 1:57.48. Just one year later at the 2019 World Championships, the teen made the final, placing 5th in 1:55.43. As such, with her now hitting another milestone of 1:54.70, the woman is on the right trajectory entering the final months prior to the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games.
China’s last trip to the women’s 200m free Olympic podium took place in 2008 when Pang Jiaying nabbed the bronze at the home-based Games in Beijing.