Young stars claim national titles with new 100m records
Published: Jun 30, 2024 11:34 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Fifteen-year-old Chen Yujie set a new Asian junior record in the women's 100 meters with a time of 11.29 seconds, while 17-year-old He Jinxian won the men's 100 meters in 10.06 seconds at China's 2024 National Athletics Grand Prix finals held in Rizhao, East China's Shandong Province, on Saturday, drawing widespread attention as young rising stars.

In the women's 100 meters final held earlier on Saturday, Chen, from East China's Zhejiang Province, outpaced several top athletes, including Asian Games champion Ge Manqi, crossing the finishing line first with a time of 11.29 seconds. She improved her own Asian junior record by 0.03 seconds, surpassing the previous record set by herself when she won the title at the Asian Youth Athletics Championships in Dubai in April 2024.

In the following men's 100 meters final, 17-year-old He Jinxian from East China's Fujian Province sprinted to victory in 10.06 seconds, significantly improving upon his personal best of 10.17 seconds set in May. He also broke the national youth record of 10.15 seconds previously held by Zeng Keli and equaled the season's best time in China set by Xie Zhenye in March.

Despite her young age, Chen has been capturing people's attention with her rapid rise in athletics for a while now. Since winning two gold medals at the 1st Student (Youth) Games of China in the high school category for the women's 100 meters and women's 200 meters in 2023, she has continued to excel.

Over the past couple of years, she has made her mark with several records. Currently, she has been selected as part of China's relay team training squad and has represented the Chinese relay team in competitions including the World Athletics Continental Tour.

Ge has long been a role model for Chen. The champion of the women's 100 meters at the Hangzhou Asian Games gave high praise to Chen after their competition, saying the result demonstrates China's reserve of young talent and that it will inspire them to continue moving forward, the China News Service reported.

According to media reports, the Chinese women's relay team did not qualify for the Paris Olympics, but Chen's emergence has brought new hope for the Chinese women's sprinting.

Reflecting on her achievements, Chen shared a post on China's X-like Sina Weibo, expressing her respect for other competitors while looking ahead.

"This championship is both an inspiration and a motivation for me to continuously strive forward, to become a better version of myself. I also hope that the women's sprinting in China will continue to improve," Chen said.