Li Bingjie and Erika Fairweather Battle for Gold in 200m Free Preliminary Heat at World Championships


Li Bingjie sets the pace in 200 free-style.

On the third morning of the World Championships in Doha, Li Bingjie was the only woman to lead the 200 free in a preliminary heat. Despite the absence of many top swimmers from the 2023 worlds, Li put on a strong performance and won with a time of 1:57.16.

In her lane, Erika Fairweather was also competing for gold. Fairweather, who had been crowned world champion for New Zealand, led by a second at the final turn but Li surged past her to win in 1:57.40 to Fairweather’s 1:57.40.

Olympic silver medallist Siobhan Haughey was also present in the fifth and final heat of this preliminary session. She was just outside world record pace going through the first 100m breaststroke in 56.07 seconds but slowed down in the second half of the race, finishing behind Nikolett Padar of Hungary with a time of 1:57.42 to Padar’s 1:57.62 respectively .

In total, four women swam under two minutes and five seconds during this preliminary session with Janna van Kooten taking the last spot into the semifinals with a time of 1:59.41 while Lucy Hope missed out by being just outside that mark . This is Li’s first chance to win a global medal in this event and she will be looking forward to making history tonight

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