10th Gimcheon National Swimming Competition
- October 13th – October 20th
- Gimcheon Indoor Swimming Pool
- LCM (50m)
As much of the swimming world is gearing up for day 1 of the International Swimming League (ISL) opening match in Budapest, Hungary, other swimmers are digging deep to put up long-awaited swims of their own at domestic meets.
For instance, here in Gimcheon, South Korea, some of the nation’s best athletes are partaking in the National Swimming Competition, which started on Tuesday, October 13th, and runs through next Tuesday, October 20th.
We’ve seen some impressive outings thus far, both from veterans and up-and-comers alike, which have electrified Gimcheon Indoor Pool.
Kim Seoyeong, the woman who owns her nation’s standards in the LCM in the 200m and 400m IM, tried the 100m fly on for size this week. The 26-year-old wound up posting the fastest time of her career, hitting the wall in a time of 57.87 to represent the only swimmer under the minute mark.
Seoyeong now ranks 5th in the world this season in the event. Splits included 28.22/29.65.
On the men’s front, Cho Sungjae earned a new Korean national record in the men’s 200m breast, producing a mark of 2:09.30. That knocked .56 off of his own previous national standard of 2:09.86 he put on the books in November of 2019.
Cho’s splits for 200m Breast: 29.79/32.94/33.54 /33.12
His time here blows away the 2:13.48 time he settled for at the 2019 World Championships in his home nation, with Cho winding up just 30th in the event.
Heads were indeed turned here in Gimcheon by 17-year-old high schooler Hwang Sun Woo. The teen contested both the 100m and 200m free events, where he channeled countryman Park Tae Hwan in terms of his stellar performances in each.
In the 100m free, the teen posted a lifetime best of 48.51. Hwang’s time now renders the teen as Korea’s 3rd fastest performer all-time, sitting only behind national record holder Park Tae Hwan (48.42 from 2014). Also, at just 17, Hwang has become the 10th fastest 100m freestyle performer ever among Asian swimmers.
Moving on to the 200m free, however, Hwang threw down another remarkable swim, posting a winning time of 1:46.31 for a new meet record. Hwang’s effort renders him as South Korea’s 2nd fastest man ever. Only Park Tae Hwan has been swifter, owning the national record of 1:44.80 from 2010.
Hwang also becomes Asia’s 10th fastest man ever in the 200m free with his 1:46.31 effort.
For perspective on just how groundbreaking a Korean sprinter at this age truly is, Hwang’s 48.51 100m freestyle would check-in as a new National Age Group Record in the United States, overtaking Olympian Caeleb Dressel’s mark fo4 17-18-year-olds of 48.78.
In the 200m free, Hwang’s time of 1:46.31 falls just .32 outside of Michael Phelps’ 17-18 National Age Record of 1:45.99 the GOAT put up in 2003.
Hwang’s spilts for 100m Free : 23.57 / 24.94
Hwang’s spilts for 200m Free : 24.74 / 27.08 / 27.33 / 27.16
Hwang isn’t the only young gun making moves up the world rankings as of late. Japan’s 16-year-old Konosuke Yanagimoto registered a 1:47.85 200m free last month, while also hitting a PB of 49.41.
Note: Park Tae Hwan has not officially retired at this point in time.