Chinese swimmer Zhang sets Olympic, world records in golden double

Tokyo, Japan, July 29, 2021: China’s Zhang Yufei emerged as the nation’s new Olympic swimming hero by winning two gold medals at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Thursday, July 29.

Zhang, 23, was untouchable in the women’s 200m butterfly final, blasting to the gold medal in the third fastest time ever and an Olympic record of 2:03.86.

Americans Regan Smith (2:05.30) and Hali Flickinger (2:05.65) took the silver and bronze.

Zhang, who, earlier in the week, had taken silver in the women’s 100m butterfly, then won a second gold of the morning – as part of the women’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay team in a world record time of 7:40.33. 

The winning four was Yang Junxuan, Tang Muhan, Zhang and Li Bingjie swimming the final leg and holding off the fast-finishing Katie Ledecky of the United States.

The United States finished second in an Americas record time of 7:40.73 – just 0.40 seconds behind China – and Australia was third in an Oceania record of 7:41.29.

On a memorable morning in Tokyo, Zhang steered China to the first two gold medals of the meet – and established herself as a new Olympic star of the pool.