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World mark for Zige

Beijing Olympic champion Liu Zige cut a stunning 1.6 seconds off the world record in the women’s 200 metre butterfly at China’s National Games in Jinan, Wednesday.

The domestic news agency Xinhua reported that Liu clocked 2min 1.81sec, smashing the previous world mark of 2:03.41 set by Australian Jessicah Schipper at the FINA world championships in Rome in July.

Liu, who won the same event at the Beijing Olympics last year to clinch China’s only swimming gold medal of the games, won Wednesday’s race by almost four seconds from Jiao Liuyang, the Olympic silver medalist.

“I don’t think the result today is fast enough for me, and there is still room for me to better the record in the future,” Xinhua quoted Liu as saying after setting the first swimming world record of the October 16-28 National Games. “Every tiny progress could make a new world record, which is very common in the pool.”

Liu said she hadn’t had a day off training since placing second at the world championships so she could prepare for a big swim here.

“I trained very hard after I came back from the Rome Worlds,” Liu said. “I cooperate very well with my coach, who set higher standard for my training in terms of intensity and capacity.”