Wed, 29 Sep 2021

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Zhang Yufei aims to win China's first swimming gold and break the world record at the Tokyo Olympics.

TOKYO, July 24 (Xinhua) -- China's Zhang Yufei cruised into the women's 100m butterfly semifinals Saturday at the Tokyo Olympics after topping the heats, but she said she always wanted to break a world record.

Zhang clocked 55.82 seconds to qualify for the semifinals, and Australian swimmer Emma McKeon finished with the same time.

"The result is acceptable, but I prefer a world record," said the 23-year-old Zhang.

The world record for the event is 55.48 seconds, which is held by World Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, who ranked the third after the heats.

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Zhang ripped a 55.62 Asian record in September 2020.

"It was a common race for me, more like a national campaign rather than an Olympics," Zhang said.

Zhang is the second-fastest swimmer of all time in the women's 100m butterfly. If she were to win the Olympic title in Tokyo, she would be the first Asian woman to win a title in the women's 100 butterfly in 29 years since China's Qian Hong at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

"I thought I would be faster," she said, adding that she will try her best to earn China the first gold in swimming in Tokyo.

China won a total of 13 gold medals in swimming at the previous Olympic Games.

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