WUHAN - China's Zhang Zheng set the pace in the men's individual obstacle swimming, the third event of military pentathlon, in a world record-tying 23.8 seconds at the 7th Military World Games here on Monday.
Despite the withdrawal of the other competitor in his heat, which left him swimming alone, Zhang finished the 50m swimming with four obstacles in style, tying the world record set by Austria's Harald Koidl 19 years ago.
The excellent performance earned Zhang 1184.8 points, lifting him to the third place on the individual rankings.
"The cheers by home crowd really motivates me," said the 25-year-old, who was surrounded by excited audiences after the match."I will focus on my own performance and try my best in the following events."
Damian Michael Rauch of Germany came second in 25.0 seconds. Renan Csuka of Brazil and Davide Riccio of Italy tied at the third place 0.2 seconds behind.
The result also helped Rauch close the gap between leader Pan Yucheng of China, who broke the world record for obstacle running on Sunday but registered only a 13th place in obstacle swimming.
"It was my personal best. And as for Germany, four out of five athletes did a personal best, so it's very good, very good, [I'm] very satisfied," said Rauch, who contributed 1156.0 points for Germany to sit fourth on the team rankings.
After three of the five events contested in military pentathlon, China led the team event with 13551.8 points. Brazil trailed with 13363.2 points while Belarus was third with 13193.1 points.
The men's throwing event will be held on Tuesday before cross country decides the eventual champions on Wednesday.