Chinese Olympic champion Liu Zige breaks women's 200m butterfly world record

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China's Olympic champion Liu Zige demolished world record to grab the women's 200m butterfly title at the National Games on Wednesday.

Liu Zige from Shanghai competes during women's 200m butterfly final of swimming at the 11th Chinese National Games in Jinan, east China's Shandong Province, Oct. 21, 2009. Liu won the gold with 2 minutes and 01.81 seconds, and exceeded the world record of the event. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

    JINAN, East China, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's Olympic champion Liu Zige demolished world record to grab the women's 200m butterfly title at the National Games on Wednesday.

    The Chinese swimming sensation powered home in an amazing 2:01.81, shaving over two seconds off previous world mark of 2:03.41 set by Australian Jessica Schipper at the Rome World Championships last summer.

    She was almost four seconds clear of her long-time arch rival Jiao Liuyang, runner-up of the Beijing Olympics, who posted 2:05.57for a silver medal. The bronze medal went to Kong Jie from the Chinese Army team who finished 2:05.57.

    Liu's splash of speed lit up the Natatorium of Jinan. To the cheers of the exciting home fans, Liu seized the lead immediately off the pad and roared through the water to secure the victory, leaving the rest of her rivals lamenting the unreachable gap.

    "I don't think the result today is fast enough for me, and there is still room for me to better the record in the future," said a smiling Liu after the competition.

    It is the first swimming world record established at the Chinese National Games slated for Oct. 16-28 in Jinan of east China's Shandong province.

Liu Zige from Shanghai jubilates after winning women's 200m butterfly final of swimming at the 11th Chinese National Games in Jinan, east China's Shandong Province, Oct. 21, 2009. Liu won the gold with 2 minutes and 01.81 seconds, and exceeded the world record of the event. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

    The 22-year-old Liu was awarded gold by China's sports minister Liu Peng to the noisy crowd.

    "Every tiny progress could make a new world record, which is very common in the pool," she said, adding she set rhythm for herself in the competition.

    She attributed her success to her tough training after the Rome World Championships. "I trained very hard after I came back from the Rome Worlds, without even one day off," said Liu, silver medalist of 200m butterfly in Rome. "I cooperate very well with my coach, who set higher standard for my training in terms of intensity and capacity."

    Liu's coach Jin Wei foresaw her remarkable win in the 200m final, as he told reporters ahead of the competition that Liu would not only defend her title but also break the world record.

    At the Beijing Olympics, Liu clocked 2:04.18 seconds in the 200mbutterfly final to win China's only swimming gold, wiping over one second off the then world best set by Schipper in 2006.

    Her teammate Jiao Liuyang took the silver in 2:04.72, also inside the former world mark.

 
Editor: Wang Guanqun

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