Asian Games 2018: China's Liu Xiang breaks 50m backstroke world record

Jakarta, Indonesia Published: Aug 21, 2018, 09:48 PM(IST)

China's Liu Xiang celebrates winning the final of the women's 50m backstroke swimming event. Photograph:( AFP )

China's Liu Xiang set a new world record in the women's 50 metres backstroke to win Asian Games gold on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old clocked a time of 26.98 seconds -- the first time a female swimmer has broken 27 seconds for the event -- in Jakarta.

Liu, nicknamed "Swimming Goddess", finished well ahead of team-mate Fu Yuanhui's 27.68 and Japan's Natsumi Sakai in 27.91 on the third evening of competition.

She claims the record held for nine years by fellow Chinese Jing Zhao, who clocked 27.06 at the 2009 world championships in Rome.

Liu shattered compatriot Zhao Jing's nine-year-old mark of 27.06, set wearing a bodysuit at the 2009 world championships in Rome.

China, runaway leaders on the 2014 medals table, reached 30 golds by the end of day three, with clear daylight between them and Japan on 12 and South Korea's eight.

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