China’s Liu Xiang lit up the pool at the 18th Asian Games on Tuesday with a world record for the ages.
The 21-year-old broke the nine-year-old record for women’s 50 metres backstroke when she steamed down the GBK Aquatic Center pool in 26.98 seconds.
She shaved 0.08 off the previous record of 27.06, set by China's Zhao Jing at the 2009 world championships in Rome, and registered the first world record in swimming at the Asian Games since 2002.
"I didn't expect to break the world record at all,” she said. “My main focus is actually the 50m freestyle so I didn’t have any pressure and I just relaxed.”
Liu’s record laid the foundations for another strong performance from the Chinese team, which won four of the seven gold medals on offer to edge 11-10 in front of Japan for gold medals in swimming.