17-Year-Old Hwang Sun Woo Hits LCM 1:46.31 200 Free/48.51 100 Free

10th Gimcheon National Swimming Competition

  • October 13th – October 20th
  • Gimcheon Indoor Swimming Pool
  • LCM (50m)
  • Results

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.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Fly

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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.

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3 years ago

46:48 Hwang 200 free
1:52.45 Kim 100 fly

3 years ago

I don’t remember anyone from Korean going sub 48? I thought Park still had the record for free. Also a quick google search and it looks like Park Seonkwan is a backstroker, so I’m not quite sure if he’s capable of going sub 48z

Reply to  monsterbasher
3 years ago

Yes, I think that Park Seonkwan’s PB in the 100 free is 50.03 from 2018 ( Asian Games at Jakarta), so Park Tae Hwan is the National record holder with his 48.42 from 2014.

3 years ago

Someone tell him to lay off the photoshop

3 years ago

If that dude is 17 I’ll eat my flex tape

3 years ago

Dude’s jacked

3 years ago

South Korea has the 11th largest economy in the world, has had an Olympic swimming champion, and is riding high off of the effect of hosting Worlds. I said it then that it was only a matter of time before South Korea caught up to the rest of Asia, and they are clearly on their way. In the years to come, I predict you’re going to see a lot more appearances by South Korean swimmers in finals at big meets, and maybe an Olympic podium as soon as next year. Is An Sehyeon still swimming?

Reply to  Aquajosh
3 years ago

Yes, I completely agree with you. An Sehyeon is still swimming, but hasn’t really been at her best form for since the 2017 World Championships at Budapest. I believe she swam the 50m butterfly at a time of 28 low (seconds).

3 years ago

What makes this even more impressive is if his Korean age is 17 his American age will be 16. (In Korea, the moment you are born, they count that as 1 years old) Race started around 46minutes

Reply to  Swammer
3 years ago

He was born in 2003 so I think he’s 17. Maybe swimswam already converted it into American age lol.

Reply to  whever
3 years ago

Hwang Sun Woo swam the lead-off in the prelims of 400 free relay at last year Worlds (50.08 his split) and his DOB entered on the starting lists was 21 May 2003. So, now, he’s 17 year and 4 months (nearly 5 months)

Reply to  whever
3 years ago

Yes. 17 is American age.
He’s 18 in korean age

Last edited 3 years ago by jione
3 years ago

Before the race his name was Hwang Sun, Woo has been added because of spectators’ reaction lol
On a serious mode, great 200 free indeed, almost effortless in the first half. His splits: 24.74-51.82-1.19.15-1.46.31 Another amazing teen, beside Popovici, Whittle, Diehl, Yanagimoto, Galossi, Passafaro..

Reply to  nuotofan
3 years ago

Wait no way 💀

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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