In the opening leg of the 4x100m freestyle relay at the World Aquatics Championships in Qatar, 19-year-old Pan Guangcheng shaved off six hundredths of a second from Romanian David Popovici’s previous World Record. Pan began the race with a blistering pace, splitting 22.26 over the first 50m, before coming back in the second half to split 24.54.
China took home gold in the event, with Ji Xinjie, Zhang Zhanshuo and Wang Haoyu finishing in a time of 3:11.08. Italy came in second with a time of 3:12.08, while the United States finished third with a time of 3:12.29.
Pan alluded to his goal of breaking the World Record after the race, saying “I believe I can go faster than today’s time.” He had previously set his personal best of 46.97 at the Asian Games in Hangzhou earlier this year, making him one of the fastest men in history before tonight’s performance.