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Chinese teen breaks men’s 100m record, S. Korea wins gold in men’s 400m at World Aquatics

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China and South Korea saw back-to-back gold medal wins in swimming at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday.

Fastest swimmer: China’s Pan Zhanle, 19, bagged the gold from the 4x100m relay event by finishing in a record-breaking 46.8 seconds. Romanian teen swimmer David Popovici, 19, previously set the 100-meter record in 46.86 seconds, which he achieved at the European championships in Rome in August 2022.

China finished with a total time of 3:11.08, followed by Italy with 3:12.08 and the U.S. with 3:12.29.

Sunday's historic win makes Pan the only Chinese man to hold a record in the event. Additionally, he is now included in the list of a very few men in history who have broken through the 47-second mark in the 100-meter freestyle.

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First world title in years: Elsewhere at the championship, Kim Woo-min, 22, took home the gold from the men's 400-meter freestyle, and with it, South Korea’s first world title in 13 years. Kim finished with a time of 3:42.71, followed by Australian Elijah Winnington, 23, with 3:42.86 and German Lukas Martens, 22, with 3:42.96.

South Korea last won the 400-meter freestyle in 2011 with two-time champion Park Tae-hwan. Park won his first world title in 2007.

What they’re saying: Speaking to reporters, Pan said he trusted his teammates and that they did their best to win a gold medal. While he previously told CGTN that he wanted to break the men's 100-meter freestyle record, he said he did not expect to actually be able to do it.

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Similarly, Kim told reporters he did not expect to win on Sunday. “It means so much to me that my first world championships medal was a gold medal,” he said.

 

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