China’s dominance continues: Second consecutive relay victory at World Aquatics Championships

Pan Zhanle

17th February 2024 – (Doha) China’s swimming team celebrated another remarkable comeback victory at the World Aquatics Championships, securing gold in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay on Friday evening. The quartet of Ji Xinjie, Wang Haoyu, Pan Zhanle, and Zhang Zhanshuo displayed exceptional teamwork and determination, finishing with a time of 7 minutes and 1.84 seconds. This triumph followed China’s success in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay the previous day, solidifying their dominance in the competition.

Initially, the United States established a commanding lead in the relay, seemingly poised for victory. However, Pan’s outstanding performance shifted the dynamics as he relentlessly closed the gap. Zhang, anchoring the final leg, delivered a powerful finish, completing the impressive comeback.

Zhang expressed his gratitude for the trust placed in him by his teammates, emphasizing the importance of teamwork in achieving success. “They entrusted me with this responsibility, so I had to perform well,” he stated with humility and pride.

For Pan, this marked his third gold medal in Doha. He had previously contributed to China’s victories in the 4x100m freestyle relay and claimed the 100m individual title. Unwavering in their determination, Pan and his teammates approached the race with the same focus and dedication as they did on the first day of the championships.

With this latest feat, the 19-year-old swimmer has now equaled Sun Yang’s record for the most gold medals won by a Chinese male swimmer at a single World Championships, a record set back in 2013. Pan’s exceptional talent and remarkable achievements have firmly established him as a rising star in Chinese swimming. He will also be participating in the upcoming mixed 4x100m freestyle relay, further showcasing his versatility and contribution to the team.

South Korea also displayed an impressive performance, surpassing the United States in the final leg to take the second-place position by a mere 0.1 seconds. Meanwhile, the United States secured the third-place spot, finishing with a time of 7 minutes and 2.08 seconds. The competition among these top-tier nations highlights the fierce rivalry and intense battles witnessed at the World Aquatics Championships.