Zhang Yufei Swims 55.73 in 100 Fly Final, Slots in as #6 All-Time Performance

CHINESE OLYMPIC TRIALS #1

  • Friday, April 30th – Saturday, May 8th
  • Qingdao, China
  • Primary Olympic Qualifier
  • LCM (50m)
  • Results via Asian Media

Zhang Yufei has set the fastest 100 fly time in the world this year while racing at the Chinese Olympic Trials #1 in Qingdao, China. The swim is also the #6 performance in the history of the event.

The 23-year-old powered her way to a dominant win from lane four, clocking a time of 55.73 that now also ranks as the #6 fastest performance of all time.

She touched in 25.67 at the 50m mark, coming back in 30.06 to comfortably take the win over her competitors.

Yufei has been quicker than this as her personal best stands at 55.62 from last September. That time remains #1 in the world this season and doubles up as the Chinese and Asian continental record.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Fly

2Zhang
Yufei
CHN55.6209/29
3Torri
Huske
USA55.6606/14
4Emma
McKeon
AUS55.7207/25
5Marie
Wattel
FRA56.1607/24
View Top 26»

While speaking to Asian media earlier in the meet, Yufei stated that she was not happy with her prelim swim of 55.96 as she wanted to break the world record in the heats.

She said: “I am not happy with the time as I planned to break the world record of 55.48 in the heats. I hope to add my name with the new world record before the Olympic Games, then I won’t be too nervous.

“With the Olympic Games coming soon, I feel more and more nervous. I try to relax myself by watching TV series and play musical instruments, like the piano.”

A slight glide into her turn and finish, which can be seen in the video below, may have cost Yufei the 0.25 she needs to find in order to match or beat Sarah Sjostrom’s world record time of 55.48 from the Olympic Games in 2016.

She is well under the FINA ‘A’ cut needed in order to qualify for the Games, which stands at 57.92. At present, she is positioning herself as ‘the one to beat’ ahead of this summer’s Olympics.

Sjostrom, who is the defending champion in this event from Rio, is still recovering from a recent elbow break that happened in February. Last week, during a Q&A on his Instagram page, Sjostrom confirmed that she is still unable to swim butterfly at present and has just begun swimming full freestyle stroke.

Rank  Athlete Time  Competition
Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 55.48 2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro
2 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 55.53 Budapest, Hungary 2017
3 Zhang Yufei (CHN) 55.62 2020 Chines Champs, Qingdao
4 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 55.64 2015 World Champs, Kazan, Russia
5 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE)  55.68 Stockholm, Sweden, 2016
6 Zhang Yufei (CHN) 55.73 2021 Chinese Olympic Trials #1
7 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 55.74 2015 World Champs, Kazan, Russia
8 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 55.76 2017 International de Canet-en-Roussillon, Canet, France
9 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 55.77 2017 World Champs, Budapest Hungary
10 Maggie MacNeil 55.83 2019 World Champs, Gwangju, South Korea

 

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Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

First prediction of the Tokyo 2021 Olympics:
Women’s 100 meter butterfly
Yufei – Gold
MacNeil – Silver
Curzan – Bronze

Lcaz
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

Those three are my picks but I am unsure about that order.

Swimfan
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

With curzan being the youngest of the three I think she’ll pull the win. Remember sjorstrom was 15 when she won gold in rome in 2009

Dee
Reply to  Swimfan
4 months ago

Youngest, but still over half a second slower than Zhang, who will most likely drop more time in Tokyo based on the way she’s dropping 55s at every meet she swims. I think Curzan will need drop not far off a full second to win gold – How likely is that? Possible, but a bloody tough ask.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Swimfan
4 months ago

I tend be optimistic yet conservative with my predictions. Curvan is definitely on a roll from a time of 56.61 on 13 Nov 2020 to a time of 56.20 on 10 Apr 2021 in the women’s 100 meter butterfly. However Curzan needs to post a faster personal best time than MacNeil to revise my prediction.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Swimfan
4 months ago

I also remember Sarah Sjostrom as a complete flop at the 2012 London Olympics. The world record can be a heavy burden to bear.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

She held the world record going into Rio, then broke it and won at Rio. So I guess holding the world record was a huge advantage? wtf are you talking about

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
4 months ago

I’m talking about London, 2012. Stop moving the goal posts.

Dan
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

Well, she was sick and missed 4-5 weeks of training leading up to London, a small indication of what she was capable of that year could be seen by the results from London March/April 2012.

Nick
Reply to  Dan
4 months ago

Experience is more important in this race, so watch out for MacNeil, McKeon, Zhang and Sjostrom fighting for gold IMO. Yes you can question Sarah’s injury every day of the week, but when it comes to the moment, i doubt Curzan has the nerve to win, but she can definitely podium.

Dan
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

I am not sure about who I think will be Top 3, but I think that you have to be sub 56 for a medal.
I know only 4 female swimmers have been under 56 so far, but I still think that it will take sub 56 for a medal and 56+ for Finals and 57+ for finals (at the 2019 World Champs 58.3 made Semis and 57.1 made finals although only 2 were under 57 during the semis at that meet and only 3 were under 57 in total).

Last edited 4 months ago by Dan
Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Dan
4 months ago

Sjostrom is recovering from a broken “wing”. I doubt Sjostrom will be 100% by the time the Tokyo 2021 Olympics rolls around.

As for the fourth female swimmer, Dana Vollmer has retired but what a champion (saved the women’s 4 x 100 meter medley relay at the 2016 Summer Olympics for the USA).

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

Vollmer is great, but she didn’t really save the 2016 medley relay.

She split about 0.5 faster than Dahlia in the heats, USA won by nearly 2 seconds.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel

Look up Baker’s time in the final of the women’s 100 meter backstroke. Compare that time to her split in the final of the women’s 4 x 100 meter medley relay. Look up King’s time in the final of the women’s 100 meter breaststroke. Compare that time to her split in the final of the women’s 4 x 100 meter medley relay. The rule of the relay is to perform no worse than the time posted in your individual event.

Swimfan

Remember they that american woman would have still won gold with thier prelims team!!! (Katie meili split 1:04.9 in prelims compared to kings 1:05.7 in final)

Last edited 4 months ago by Swimfan
Dan
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

It is almost like you do not expect any new swimmers to go under 56. I still stand by my prediction that it will take a sub 56 for a medal and I do not think Sarah will be one of them.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Dan
4 months ago

I never predicted any times since I have no idea what the ceiling is for Claire Curzan at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

Dan
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

How likely is that we will see a sub 55 this year from any of the female swimmers in the 100m Fly (long course)?
Plus for yes and Minus for no.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Dan
4 months ago

Too early.

How many swimmers will post a sub 1:54 in the final of the women’s 200 meter freestyle? Note: Only twice the aforementioned feat has been accomplished in the textile era.

Dan
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

I think there will be at least 1 sub 1:54 but I do not think there will be 3 or more going under 1:54

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Dan
4 months ago

Allison Schmitt (1:53.61) and Katie Ledecky (1:53.73) are the only two swimmers to post a sub 1:54.00 performance in the women’s 200 meter freestyle in the textile era. Ironically, both occurred in the final of the Summer Olympic Games.

ALEXANDER POP-OFF
4 months ago

I like how everyone is on NyQuil, sleeping on Maggie Macneil, who is better, hungrier and more confident than she was when she pulled off the upset of the World Champs. With genuine talents like Yufei, Curzan, McKeon, Huske, it could come down to the homestretch. In such a scenario, my money is on Macneil. Watch the race again, she was RAGING when everyone else was praying.

Lcaz
Reply to  ALEXANDER POP-OFF
4 months ago

I’m a huge fan of the Big Mac. I think she can win in Tokyo and will definitely medal

Yozhik
Reply to  ALEXANDER POP-OFF
4 months ago

That is what Yufei was nervous about. Her advantage in personal best isn’t that significant to feel comfortable. And Olympic race in final isn’t a competition of personal bests. It’s face to face fight. And there would be no clear water like in the cases of all Yufei’s outstanding results shown at home meets.

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  ALEXANDER POP-OFF
4 months ago

MacNeil’s underwater during that upset were unbelievable. She has also made huge strides during her college swimming career.

Right now, I think she is on another level that we have only seen a glimpse of. Going with Mac to win Gold, if not, at least break WR this year.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Coach Macgyver
4 months ago

I do remember another butterflier with a great underwater pull off the greatest upset in women’s swimming history.

Kajdk
4 months ago

Mcneil 100 fly
Yufei 200 fly

Hswimmer
Reply to  Kajdk
4 months ago

Halo Flickinger 200 fly

kajdk
Reply to  Hswimmer
4 months ago
flickinger doesnt have the level to swim less than 2.05.00 and at the world championships she always disappointed. Yufei's biggest rival will be regan smith


kevin
4 months ago

Cant believe Emma is not thought to be a medalist she is at the top of her game lets see what she does in June at the trials

Joel
Reply to  kevin
4 months ago

Yes I think she will surprise many.

Verram
Reply to  kevin
4 months ago

Not bothered .. I think Aussies perform better when there’s less expectations

Tomek
4 months ago

Butterflyer playing piano? Not the best omen…

frug
4 months ago

A shame we won’t get to see Sjostrom against these young guns. C’est la vie I suppose.

Yozhik
Reply to  frug
4 months ago

Yes, such is a life in competitive swimming. She will be 28 already in August. It’s a petty that the pandemic postponed the OG by one season and then such a mishap happened to her in Olympic season. It could’ve been pretty much her last chance to state her superiority.