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"I always want a world record," says Chinese swimmer Zhang Yufei

N.C.N. Limited 徽标 N.C.N. Limited 2021/7/24 Wu Shuguang,Zhou Xin,Xia Liang
a person riding a wave on top of a body of water © Provided by N.C.N. Limited

Zhang Yufei of China competes during the women's 100m butterfly heat at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, July 24, 2021. (Xinhua/Xu Chang)

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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Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom celebrates after the women's 100m butterfly final of swimming at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 7, 2016. Sarah Sjostrom won the gold medal and smashed the world record with 55.48 seconds.(Xinhua/Wang Lili)

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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