At the world swimming championships in Doha, 19-year-old Pan Zhanle made headlines by breaking the men’s 100m freestyle world record as he led off China’s gold medal-winning 4x100m free relay team. His impressive performance helped China win the relay by a one-second margin over Italy while the U.S. claimed bronze without their top 100m freestylers. With his remarkable record, Pan has established himself as a strong contender for the iconic 100m freestyle race at the Paris Olympics, which American Caeleb Dressel won in an Olympic record time of 47.02 at the previous Games in Tokyo in 2021.
In the women’s 4x100m free, the Netherlands outperformed Australia to win, with anchor Marrit Steenbergen posting the fastest split of the 32-swimmer field. Meanwhile, Erika Fairweather made history by becoming the first New Zealand swimmer to win a world title in the women’s 400m free. Her victory of 2.18 seconds over China’s Li Bingjie set the stage for her to challenge the three fastest women in history in the upcoming Olympic games.
In addition to these impressive performances, South Korea’s Kim Woo-Min claimed victory in the men’s 400m free by holding off Aussie Elijah Winnington. However, there was no Sam Short from Australia or Ahmed Hafnaoui from Tunisia present at this year’s World Championships, which will continue on Monday with finals scheduled to be broadcast live and featuring American Kate Douglass looking to repeat as champion in