Zhao had boasted a best time of 28.02 before today, while a year ago the 18-year-old had a personal best of 29.12. That's getting on for 1.5sec over 50m in a year, and that rate of gain leading to world-record pace.
Just behind Zhao was Gao Chang, of Shandong, on 27.76, third-fastest ever, with Xutian Longzi, of the Chinese Army team third in 28.13. Gao has history: in 2005 she set a best time of 28.31. And there she stayed, a 28.48 her best from last year.
In the men's 100m freestyle, Chen Zuo, of Beijing, established an Asian record of 48.73, ahead of Huang Shaohua, of Guangxi, on 49.15, Cai Li, of Zhejiang, on 49.17, Lv Zhiwu, of Zhejiang, on 49.32, Shi Tengfei, of Beijing, on 49.47, Zhang Lin, of Beijing, 49.47, Shi Yang, of Shanghai, on 49.74. That's seven men below 50sec. In 2005, China produced its first sub-50sec man.
The men's 200m medley witnessed a national record of 1:59.80 from Zhao Tao, of the Chinese Navy team. Behind him in a junior national record was Zhang Zishan, of Guangdong, in 2:00.00.
In the women's 200m butterfly, Olympic silver medallist Jiao Liuyang, of Guangzhou Army, clocked a swift 2:05.22 to defeat Olympic champion Liu Zige, of Shanghai, on 2:07.03. Behind them four other women below 2:10, led by Zheng Rongrong, of Zhejiang, on 2:07.84, Gong Jie, of Guangzhou Army, on 2:07.95 and Deng Biying, of Hubei, on 2:08.10.
The women's 4x200m freestyle went to Shandong in 8:00.85, with Zhejiang, second on 8:05.29.