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Clash Of The Bolters In Barcelona

Nov 19, 2012  - Craig Lord

In 8:27.43, 13-year-old Xu Danlu shot into the world rankings over 800m freestyle form the first time hat China nationals in September. Now she is on the verge of joining the sub-8:20 club after an 8:22.24 victory at the Asian Championships at the weekend.

She is the fastest 13-year-old in history in the 800m event and helped China to dominate the meet. Her time wiped 12sec of the championship record that had stood to compatriot Zhang Yan. Zhang was 14 at the time. When her career ended a few years later, her personal best was an 8:32.34, clocked when she was 16, her speed all but stalled after that initial breakthrough at 14.

In the coming year, Xu is on a pathway to her first world titles, at Barcelona next July. If she gets there, she may meet 16-year-old Katie Ledecky, who at 15 this summer past took the Olympic title in 8:14.63 a year after her best time was 8:36.05.

Where will the blotters get to by Barcelona?

Meanwhile, China won eight of nine events on the final day of swimming in Dubai, South Korea's Choi Hye-ra the only one to stop the charge when she claimed the 200m medley.

China ended the meet with 33 out of 38 gold medals and 12 championship records.