Tue, 01 Dec 2020

Zhang Yufei of Jiangsu competes during the women's 100m freestyle heat at the 2020 Chinese National Swimming Championships in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 27, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Ziheng)

Chinese swimmer Zhang Yufei broke the Asian record in the women's 100m butterfly in 55.62 seconds at the Chinese national swimming championships,only a 0.14-second difference between the world record.

QINGDAO, China, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinese swimmer Zhang Yufei broke the Asian record in the women's 100m butterfly in 55.62 seconds at the Chinese national swimming championships here on Tuesday.

Zhang was 0.45 second faster than the former Asian record holder, Olympic champion Liu Zige, who has kept it for 11 years. There is only a 0.14-second difference between Zhang's new record and the world record held by Swedish Sarah Sjostrom.

"It was beyond my imagination. I had thought the best result would be around 55.8 seconds," said Zhang.

Zhang Yufei competes during the women's 100m butterfly heat at the 2020 Chinese National Swimming Championships in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 29, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Ziheng)

"This is the first major tournament in the last 11 months because of the epidemic. I know I can swim faster this time and want to see how fast I could be," said the bronze medalist of the world championships.

Zhang wants to improve her time further in 200m butterfly after the championships.

"The Tokyo Olympics were postponed, and this is good for me. Now I have more time to prepare and will try to show my best in the Olympics," she said.

The 22-year-old swimmer also broke the national record of the women's 100m freestyle in 52.90 seconds on Sunday. ■

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