Le Jingyi was one of the Chinese female swimmers who surprised the world at the 1994 World Championships, where Chinese women took 12 of the 16 titles (compared to 4 in 1991). At that event, Le doubled in the 50 and 100 freestyle, while also anchoring both of the victorious 4 x 100 free and medley relay teams. To crown this achievement, she also bettered the world record in both individual events, marks which both lasted until Inge de Bruijn bettered them in 2000. While the Chinese women's performances at the Rome worlds were surrounded by rumours and occasional proof of doping (in part to the presence of East German) coaches, Le has never tested positive. Her performances in Rome earned her an accolade from the United Press, winning the International Athlete of the Year award, succeeding compatriot Wang Junxia. In addition to her 1994 World Championships performance, she earned four Olympic medals. Three of these came in Atlanta 1996, including the prestigious 100 metre freestyle title. Le Jingyi also won a host of titles at the World Short-Course Championships. In 1993, she won five titles (50 free, 100 free, 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 m freestyle and the medley relay), setting world records in both individual events that would last until Therese Alshammar broke them in 1999. Le added five more golds, in 1995 and 1997. She retired after failing to qualify for the Sydney Olympics.
Athlete Olympic Results Content