Lichao Wang’s dream World Series debut

Chinese swimmer breaks two world records in Indianapolis 08 Apr 2019
An armless man swimming next to a short stature man

Rio 2016 medallist Lichao Wang of China (centre) broke two world records at the Indianapolis World Series

ⒸBob Martin for OIS/IOC
By Melissa Zhang | For World Para Swimming

Lichao Wang will not forget Saturday in Indianapolis, USA.

The 25-year-old Chinese swimmer made his World Series debut and broke two world records in S5 events.

First, he broke the men’s 50m backstroke flying past flying past his competition to a time of 34.60. That same Saturday evening at Indiana University Natatorium, Wang clocked 32.94 to establish a new world mark in the men’s 50m butterfly.

“I wasn’t expecting to break a world record today, let alone two. I feel very happy,” Wang said.

The Chinese took up swimming at the age of 13, five years after an electrical accident which saw him lose both arms.

Wang made his Paralympic Games debut at Rio 2016 taking a bronze medal in the men’s 50m butterfly while still competing in the S6 class.

His two new marks took the total number of world records broken in Indianapolis to six – two better than the opening World Series of the season in Melbourne, Australia in February.

The USA’s Julia Gaffney clocked a new world record in the women’s 100m backstroke S7 (1:19.47) on day one. Friday, day two, saw Italy’s European champion Simone Barlaam break the men’s 50m freestyle S9 world record (31.46).

“World record in the 50m free. European record in the 100m back. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend,” Barlaam posted on social media following his result.

On Saturday, Mexico’s Diego Lopez Diaz and Cristopher Tronco joined Wang as the stars of the day. Lopez Diaz clocked a new world mark in the men’s 50m butterfly S3 (54.02) and Tronco in the men's 150m individual medley SM2 (3:58.18).

Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 25-27 April and Glasgow, Great Britain, from 25-28 April will host the next World Series.