Fri, 17 Sep 2021

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Chinese swimmer Zhang Yufei made it to the women's 200m butterfly semifinals in the first place at Tokyo 2020.

TOKYO, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Zhang Yufei of China cracked a time of 2 minutes 7.50 seconds to make the women's 200m butterfly semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday night.

Zhang posted the fastest time in the women's 200m butterfly in 2021, hitting 2:05.44 during the Chinese Olympic trials in Qingdao in May. She had claimed a silver medal in the women's 100m butterfly on Monday.

"There were fewer swimmers today than I am used to (16 or less entering an international event) so it was less competitive. It was easy compared to the competitions in China. I just need to find my pace and get ready for the final (on Thursday)," said Zhang.

Hali Flickinger of the USA qualified second to Zhang. China's also entered the semifinals.

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Only 16 swam the heats as Hungarian star Katinka Hosszu withdrew from them abruptly.

Caeleb Dressel of the USA led the semifinalists in the men's 100 freestyle, in which he won the gold at the world championships in 2017 and 2019.

In the men's 800m freestyle, 24-year-old Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine set a new Olympic record at 7:41.28 and is considered a favorite for gold in the new Olympic event.

Romanchuk won a silver in the men's 800m free at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics, and a silver in men's 1500m free at the world championships in 2017.

"I am very happy with the new record, and we'll see what will happen in the final (Thursday)," said Romanchuk.

Britain, Australia and Italy topped the eight finalists in men's 4x200m freestyle relay. China ranked only ninth.

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