On the third morning of the World Championships in Doha, Li Bingjie led the 200 free in the only women’s prelim. Despite the absence of medallists from the 2023 worlds, such as Mollie O’Callaghan, Ariarne Titmus, and Summer McIntosh, who bypassed the meet with their focus on the Paris event in July, Li managed to take home the win in 1:57.16 to 1:57.40.
In contrast to Li, Olympic silver medallist Siobhan Haughey was only 0.13secs outside world record pace in her fifth and final heat of the 100m breaststroke. However, she put the brakes on in the second half of the race and Nikolett Padar of Hungary went past her on the last 50 to touch in 1:57.42 to 1:57.62. Despite this setback, Haughey remains a formidable contender for tonight’s final and has won two gold medals at previous World Championships.
Despite not having any prior success on global stages, Li has shown impressive form leading up to this meet and could be a surprise medal winner if she can maintain her momentum throughout finals week.