On the third day of the World Championships in Doha, Li Bingjie set the pace in the women’s 200 free preliminaries. Despite the absence of world champions Mollie O’Callaghan, Ariarne Titmus, and Summer McIntosh, Li was determined to make a name for himself on the global stage.
In the final heat, Li and Erika Fairweather were neck and neck as they approached the final turn. Fairweather had been crowned world champion when she won the 400 free ahead of Li on the first evening. However, it was Li who emerged victorious with a time of 1:57.16 to Fairweather’s 1:57.40.
Olympic silver medalist Siobhan Haughey narrowly missed out on breaking the world record as she finished fifth in her heat with a time of 1:57.42. The Hong Kong swimmer started strong but slowed down in the second half of the race, allowing Nikolett Padar of Hungary to pass her and touch in just under 1:57.62 seconds.
Janna van Kooten made history by becoming only the fourth woman to swim a sub-2 minute 200 free with her time of 1:59.41 in heat five. Unfortunately for Lucy Hope, she missed out on qualifying for the semis by just one tenth of a second as she finished sixth in heat six with a time of 2:00 seconds flat.
Despite missing out on gold at this meet, Li has an opportunity to redeem himself when he competes in tonight’s semifinals against Haughey and Fairweather once again. This is sure to be an exciting matchup between three talented swimmers vying for a spot on