There were smiles on the faces of Korea’s men’s freestyle trio as they ended the World Aquatics Championships on a high note. Hwang Sun-woo, Kim Woo-min (Gangwon-do) and Lee Ho-joon (Daegu Metropolitan City) are determined to make a splash at the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games.
After returning home via Incheon International Airport on the 31st, Hwang Sun-woo said, “I’m very happy to set a new Korean record in the 200m freestyle and get a bronze medal. In the 800-meter freestyle relay, I didn’t perform well because I wasn’t feeling well, but my teammates did a great job and I’m happy that we set a new Korean record.”
Hwang Sun-woo won bronze in the men’s 200-meter freestyle final at the FINA World Aquatics Championships 2023 at Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall in Fukuoka, Japan, on Friday with a time of 1:44.42, beating his previous best by 0.05 seconds. He became the first Korean swimmer in history to finish on the podium at two consecutive World Aquatics Championships following his silver medal at the last edition.
He also swam the first leg of the 800-meter freestyle relay with Lee Ho-joon, Kim Woo-min and Yang Jae-hoon (Gangwon Provincial Government), and despite feeling under the weather with a cold, helped the team set back-to-back Korean records in the preliminaries (7:06.82) and finals (7:04.07).
“At the 2019 Gwangju Games, there weren’t many swimmers in the semifinals and finals, but at Budapest last year and this year, we have seen a steady stream of swimmers reaching the finals,” said Hwang. “I feel that Korean swimming has improved a lot, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Korea Swimming’s next target is the Hangzhou Asian Games in September. They are hoping to surpass their best result since the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games (4 gold, 3 silver, 6 bronze). “First of all, I want to get on the podium in my individual events, and the 800-meter freestyle relay was the best in Asia, so I want to show a good performance at the Asian Games,” said Hwang. As for the 100-meter freestyle, where he was disappointed, he said, “I will have to train hard to get a better time at the Asian Games. There is a big gap between me and Fan Zhanle (China), and I will try to reduce it as much as possible,” he said.
Lee was also pleased with his performance in the 200m freestyle final alongside Hwang Sun-woo. “I have some regrets, but I also gained a lot of confidence that I can 카지노사이트 improve,” he said, “I reached the final of the World Aquatics Championships for the first time, so if I continue to improve my times, I think I can create a picture of two Koreans on the same podium (at the Asian Games).”
Kim Woo-min has a more specific goal: to become the first Korean swimmer since Park Tae-hwan to be globally competitive in the middle and long distance freestyle events. “I want to do well at the Asian Games as well as the Paris Olympics next year,” said Kim, who set personal bests in both the 400m (3:43.92) and 800m (7:47.69) freestyle events. “I think if I work hard at the Asian Games, (gold medals) will follow. I want to win about three,” he said.