On the third morning of the World Championships in Doha, Li Bingjie led the women’s 200m free prelim. None of the medalists from the 2023 worlds were present at the Aspire Dome as Mollie O’Callaghan, Ariarne Titmus, and Summer McIntosh had their sights set on bigger things in Paris in July.
In the prelim, Li was joined by Erika Fairweather, who had become the first New Zealander to win a world title when she claimed victory in the 400m free on the opening night. Fairweather led by a second at the final turn, but Li managed to pass her and take home gold with a time of 1:57.16 to 1:57.40.
Olympic silver medalist Siobhan Haughey was also present in this event, finishing fifth with a time that was just 0.13 seconds away from breaking world record pace. She went through the first 100m in an impressive 56.07 seconds but slowed down in the second half of the race as Nikolett Padar of Hungary passed her on the last 50m to touch in 1:57.42 to 1:57.62 respectively.
Four women finished with a time of exactly one minute and fifty-seven seconds – Janna van Kooten of Netherlands secured her spot into semis by placing sixteenth and final while Britain’s Lucy Hope missed out on qualifying for semis finals . Li has never won a medal on global stage before and finished second behind Haughey at Asian Games in September 2023 held in Abu Dhabi