On the third morning of the World Championships in Doha, Li Bingjie led the 200 free in the sole women’s prelim. Erika Fairweather, a New Zealander who won the 400 free ahead of Li on the opening evening, was also in the third prelim.
Fairweather led by a second at the final turn, with Li coming past her to take the win in 1:57.16 to 1:57.40. Siobhan Haughey, an Olympic silver medallist who will go in tonight’s 100m breaststroke final, was only 0.13secs outside world record pace in the fifth and final heat, going through the first 100 in 56.07. The Hong Kong swimmer put the brakes on in the second half of the race with Nikolett Padar of Hungary going past her on the last 50 to touch in 1:57.42 to 1:57.62.
Four women swam 1:57 with Janna van Kooten – a member of the Netherlands 4×100 free winning team – claiming the 16th and final spot into the semis in 1:59.41 as Britain’s Lucy Hope missed out. This is Li’s first time competing at this meet and he has never won a medal on a global stage before, however he was second behind Haughey at Asian Games in September last year