China's "Flying Fish" once again stirred up the world swimming world - at the recently held 2024 World Swimming Championships in Doha, Qatar, 19-year-old Pan Zhanle won 4 gold medals and set a new world record in the men's 100-meter freestyle.

  From an unknown "grandstand player" to a new force following famous athletes, to a blockbuster in the world arena, Pan Zhanle's "flying fish" road shows the strength and potential of Chinese swimming.

  "The gold medal in the World Championships has given me confidence. At the Paris Olympics, I will have to go head-to-head with foreign experts," Pan Zhanle said.

Things will fall into place

  On the first competition day of the swimming event at this World Aquatics Championships, Pan Zhanle became an instant sensation. In the men's 4×100m freestyle relay final, Pan Zhanle fought side by side with Ji Xinjie, Zhang Zhanshuo and Wang Haoyu and won the gold medal with a time of 3 minutes, 11.08 seconds, winning the first World Championships men's relay championship for Chinese swimming. Pan Zhanle, who took the lead, clocked 46.80 seconds, improving Romania's Popovich's original world record by 0.06 seconds.

  In the following competitions, Pan Zhanle took the lead in touching the wall in the men's 100-meter freestyle final and won his first gold medal in the individual event of the World Championships. At the same time, he and his teammates also won gold medals in the men's 4×200m freestyle relay and 4×100m freestyle mixed relay.

  "Breaking the world record is a matter of course. My goal is to swim faster and raise the world record so that other athletes cannot easily touch it." Pan Zhanle said.

  The men's 100-meter freestyle is a "100-meter flying" battle in the swimming pool, which has made legendary athletes such as Russian player Popov a success. In 2015, Chinese player Ning Zetao won the gold medal in this event at the World Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia, creating a peak in Chinese swimming. In 2022, Popovich, who is the same age as Pan Zhanle, broke the 13-year-old world record and won two gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle at the World Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

  FINA wrote in an article on its official website that Pan Zhanle's breaking of the world record was not unexpected, nor was it a flash in the pan. For those who continued to pay attention to his performance, he just completed the plan ahead of schedule.

  As a rising star in Chinese swimming, Pan Zhanle has repeatedly set national and Asian records in competitions in recent years. At the 2023 Fukuoka World Championships, Pan Zhanle finished fourth and missed the podium. At the subsequent Asian Games in Hangzhou, he swam a time of 46.97 seconds, just one step away from the world record.

  "I swam with my eyes on the world record. It's a pity that the comparison was average." Even if he stood on the highest podium at home, Pan Zhanle was still not satisfied. In the eyes of the outside world, this young and frivolous young man rarely smiles, and even looks a bit "Versailles". But in Pan Zhanle's view, without a world record and without standing on the highest podium of the World Championships and Olympic Games, he is not worthy of the title of "Flying Fish".

  Now, "Flying Fish" has finally "taken off".

Looking forward to the Olympics

  Setting a world record in the relay event, Pan Zhanle's extraordinary emergence surprised many people. FINA said in the article that when the relay race begins, people's attention is focused on the overall competition of each team, and few people notice which first runner hits the wall first.

  "I never thought he could break the world record on the first leg. It's really shocking." Italian player Lorenzo Zazzeri said.

  Alain Bernard of France, the men's 100-meter freestyle champion at the Beijing Olympics, said that Pan Zhanle's performance was impressive, especially since he and Popovich were not strong, but rather slender. They may have understood that others Something that is not yet understood.

  Due to the absence of players such as Popovich and American star Dressel, Pan Zhanle was unable to have direct dialogue with these powerful opponents in Doha. The "Flying Fish Battle" with the strongest lineup will be staged at this summer's Paris Olympics.

  "The world record is not the end, my career has just started. I always look forward to competing with the masters in the Olympics." After winning the men's 100-meter freestyle championship at the World Championships, Pan Zhanle said bluntly that the opponent in this competition was not very strong. , and we will continue to train hard.

  Pan Zhanle's coach Zheng Kunliang has brought out top players such as Sun Yang. Regarding the performance of his disciple, Zheng Kunliang said that Pan Zhanle trained hard and focused, but his specific physical fitness was still very weak and there was a lot of room for improvement. In the early days of training, I strengthened my physical reserves. Breaking the world record this time was both a surprise and a matter of course.

  "Winning 4 gold medals at the World Championships just proves that my hard work has not been in vain." Pan Zhanle said, "I hope people won't ridicule me when my results are poor, and don't praise me when my results are good. I will continue to train hard and show my performance at the Paris Olympics. At its best.”

new force

  In the swimming events of this World Championships, the Chinese swimming team won a total of 7 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 1 bronze medal. In addition to Pan Zhanle's new world record, the Chinese team also set new Asian records in the women's 50-meter breaststroke and the men's and women's 4×100-meter freestyle relay.

  In this World Championships, the Chinese team sent a team composed mainly of young players to participate. Famous players such as Zhang Yufei and Qin Haiyang, who won four gold medals at the last World Championships, as well as Wang Shun and Xu Jiayu, did not travel with the team. Youngsters are not afraid of tigers, and 11 of them became world champions for the first time.

  In the breaststroke event, Tang Qianting and Dong Zhihao won gold medals in the women's 100m and men's 200m respectively; Li Bingjie won 2 golds and 2 silvers in the relay and freestyle events; Wang Haoyu won 3 relay championships; 14-year-old Gong Zhenqi and 16-year-old Yang Peiqi He and Zhang Zhanshuo made their debut at the World Championships and won the relay gold medal with the team...

  Judging from the results, the Chinese swimming team has created its best record since the 1994 World Championships, showing its good overall strength. Of course, since many Olympic champions and world champions chose to give up the World Championships in preparation for the Paris Olympics, the gold content of the results of this event is limited. The good results of the Chinese teenager not only built up confidence for the players, but also pointed out the direction for the next step of preparations.

  Tang Qianting, who stood on the highest podium of the World Championships for the first time, said: "I am very confident now and particularly motivated. The next goal is to swim within 1 minute and 05 seconds (women's 100-meter breaststroke) in Paris. Stand on the Olympic podium.”

  "The success of this competition means that the Paris Olympics will be better, and we are working hard to narrow the gap with strong teams." Li Bingjie said.

  Liu Yao

  (People's Daily Overseas Edition)