China’s Qin Haiyang claimed his fourth gold medal at the World Aquatics Championships on Friday as he stormed to victory in the men’s 200m breaststroke with a new world record.
He also became the first swimmer in history to sweep three breaststroke gold medals in a single World Championships.
The 24-year-old built a lead of 0.97 seconds over defending champion and world record holder Zac Stubblety-Cook after 50 meters and never looked back.
He touched home first in a time of two minutes 05.48 seconds, taking 0.47 seconds off the previous world mark of 2:05.95 set by the Australian on May 19, 2022.
Prior to his triumph on Friday, Qin had secured double victories in 50m and 100m breaststroke and a mixed 4x100m medley relay title at the Fukuoka worlds.
“I said that my pre-race target is to win three breaststroke gold medals,” said Qin.
“I knew that nobody had achieved this, but I was very confident to fight for it. I was really sure to keep that confidence.”
Despite his unprecedented feat, Qin has kept his feet on the ground.
“These gold medals will be your burden if you always think you are a world champion. I will take every competition as a new start and new challenge because my rivals are also improving,” he said.
Born in central China’s Hunan Province, Qin moved to Shanghai with his parents when he was nine years old, and he got coaches there, which laid a solid foundation for his future success.
Qin made his Olympic debut in Tokyo, tying for the best time in his 200m breast heat but getting disqualified.
Stubblety-Cook, who led the pool in the semifinals, finished second in 2:06.40. Matt Fallon of the United States took bronze in 2:07.74.
According to en.people.cn. Source of