Jakarta, Indonesia (AP) — Liu Xiang of China swam a world-record time of 26.98 seconds to win the women’s 50-meter backstroke gold medal on Tuesday night at the Asian Games.
Liu has become the first woman to swim under 27 seconds in the event, breaking the mark of 27.06 set by fellow Chinese swimmer Zhao Jing at the 2009 world championships in Rome.
The 21-year-old Liu is entered in the 50 backstroke and 50 freestyle at the Asian Games. She was a bronze medalist in the backstroke at the 2015 world championships and had a previous best time of 27.40.
Fu Yuanhui took silver in 27.68 in a 1-2 finish for China and Japan’s Natsumi Sakai, the 2017 world junior champion, took bronze in 27.91.
Fu won the 50 and 100 backstroke titles at the 2014 Asian Games, was world champion in the 50 backstroke in 2015 and picked an Olympic bronze in the 100 backstroke at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.