China's breaststroke specialist Qin Haiyang continued his impressive momentum at the world aquatics championships in Fukuoka, Japan, on Tuesday, as he set a new Asian record of 26.20 seconds in the men's 50 meters breaststroke semifinal.
Teammate Sun Jiajun finished in 26.78 seconds. The duo both have qualified for the final which will be held on Wednesday night.
The 24-year-old's five appearances at the worlds have seen him breaking Asian records five times in the breaststroke disciplines, highlighted by a second-fastest all-time result of 57.69 seconds in the 100 meters.
This time, which shaves 0.13 seconds off his previous Asian record time of 57.82 in the semifinals, won him gold in the event on Monday.
Qin's result is just 0.81 seconds short of the world record of 56.88 seconds that was set by British swimmer Adam Peaty in 2019. Peaty has skipped the worlds due to ongoing mental issues. Qin's outstanding performances have earned him the nickname "King of Breaststroke" by Chinese fans, who have pinned their hopes on him to challenge Peaty's record at the Paris Olympics next year.
Female distance swimmer Li Bingjie finished the women's 1,500 meters freestyle with a time of 15:45.71, scoring a bronze medal for China. US swimmer Katie Ledecky remains the woman to defeat as she won the race by a 17.04-second gap.
Backstroke specialist Xu Jiayu was left stunned in the men's 100 meters final on Tuesday, as he finished fourth in the competitive race. Xu, who was the top finisher in the semifinals, was 0.06 seconds short for a podium finish.
Female backstroke specialist Liu Yaxin surprised fans to qualify for the women's 200 meters final in freestyle.
Monday had also seen several breakthroughs in swimming for China.
Olympic champion Zhang Yufei rallied from behind to win the women's 100 meters butterfly with a time of 56.12 seconds, bagging her first gold in a world championships.
Female swimmer Yu Yiting also won her first medal in a world championships by securing bronze in the women's 200 meters medley with a time of 2:08.74.
China had won only one gold medal at previous worlds last year in Budapest, Hungary thanks to Yang Junxuan in the women's 200 meters freestyle.