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 at the world swimming championships in Doha. At just 19 years old, Pan split 46.80 seconds, taking six hundredths off the previous world record set by Romanian David Popovici in 2022. This 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.
Pan’s remarkable record has established him 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. Although some top swimmers opted not to compete at the worlds, Pan’s performance was noteworthy.
In the women’s 4x100m free, Australia outperformed New Zealand to win, with anchor Erika Fairweather making history by becoming the first New Zealand swimmer to win a world title in this event. Meanwhile, Marrit Steenbergen of Netherlands posted the fastest split of all swimmers with a time of 53:65 seconds to lead her country to victory over Australia and China in this race.
In the men’s 4x100m free relay, South Korea claimed victory over Australia and China through Kim Woo-Min holding off Aussie Elijah Winnington by just one second. However, there were several notable absences from this event due to injuries or other reasons that affected their performance levels significantly. World champion Sam Short of Australia and Olympic gold medalist Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia were both absent from this final competition due to injuries and illnesses that prevented them from participating fully in this event.
The finals are set for Monday at the World Championships with live broadcasting scheduled for viewers around the world. Kate Douglass is looking forward to repeating her title as champion in the women’s individual medley event on Monday morning.
Overall, these competitions have showncase some incredible talent from swimmers across