China's Liu breaks 50m backstroke world record at Asian Games

Liu Xiang clocked a time of 26.98 seconds -- the first time a female swimmer has broken 27 seconds for the event -- in Jakarta.

Liu Xiang

China's Liu Xiang celebrates after winning the women's 50m backstroke final   -  AP

China's Liu Xiang set a new world record in the women's 50 metres backstroke to win Asian Games gold on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old clocked a time of 26.98 seconds -- the first time a female swimmer has broken 27 seconds for the event -- in Jakarta.

Liu, nicknamed “Swimming Goddess”, finished well ahead of team-mate Fu Yuanhui's 27.68 and Japan's Natsumi Sakai in 27.91 on the third evening of competition.

She claims the record held for nine years by fellow Chinese Jing Zhao, who clocked 27.06 at the 2009 world championships in Rome.