The World Aquatics Championships in Doha began with a thunderous sensation. A new world record in the most prestigious distance - 100 m freestyle - was recently set by an unknown Chinese Pan Zhanle.
The Doha World Championships swimming program opened with something of a shock. On the first day of the competition, medals were awarded in the 4x100 m freestyle relay. And the very fact that the Chinese team won gold, ahead of the Italian and American ones, became a real sensation: sprinters from China have never been in the first roles.
What made the event doubly surprising was the fact that Pan Zhanle, who competed in the first stage for the winners, swam it in 46.80 seconds, breaking the world record at the iconic distance.
He improved by six hundredths the achievement set in 2022 by Romanian David Popovici.
It’s impossible to say about 19-year-old Pan Zhanle that he came out of nowhere. But still, there have not yet been any striking feats in his biography. And at the previous World Championships, which took place in July last year in Fukuoka, Japan, the Chinese took fourth place in the 100-meter freestyle, but still did not seem equal to the favorites.
The most interesting thing is that Pan Zhanle, after his phenomenal swim, admitted that he did not feel that he was in good shape. On the contrary, after the preliminary round, in which the Chinese did not shine, he thought that his form was so-so and just being on the podium would be great. So for Pan Zhanle himself, his record was a shock.
However, he also said that he still planned to install it. True, a little later - at the Summer Olympics in Paris.