18-Yr-Old Hwang Sunwoo Blasts 1:44.96 200 Free World Junior Record


  • Thursday, May 13th – Monday, May 17th
  • Jeju Multi-Sports Complex Swimming Pool
  • LCM (50m)
  • Results
  • Livestream

As if hitting a new lifetime best and Korean national record of 48.04 in the 100m freestyle yesterday wasn’t enough, 18-year-old Hwang Sunwoo followed up with a new World Junior Record in the men’s 200m freestyle.

Competing on the penultimate day of action at these 2021 Korean National Trials, Hwang blasted a new lifetime best of 1:44.96 to take 200m free gold.

That not only once again easily cleared the FINA ‘A’ cut of 1:47.02 needed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games, but his outing crushed his own previous World Junior Record of 1:45.92. That result was posted just last November, meaning the teenager managed to hack almost a full second off of his already impressive time in just a matter of months.

Splits for his previous WJR included 51.78/54.14, while this time around the man opened in 50.74 and closed in 54.22 to make history by joining the 1:44 club. He’s now the 16th fastest 200m freestyle performer all-time and the 4th fastest Asian man in history. For additional perspective, Hwang’s time here would have garnered the silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

After his remarkable swim, Hwang said, “I’m quite happy to drop almost a full second in only 6 months. All three turns felt right so I had a good feeling about it.”

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

This kid is 6’1’’ and 160-165 pounds… wow…

2 years ago

When was his birthday ? Crazy fast !

Reply to  Samesame
2 years ago

His birthday is this Friday, May 21 2003. So, he is actually still 17, which is even more incredible.

Philip Johnson
2 years ago

He’s the next South Korean swimming star.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
2 years ago

All the people who have gone 1:44 this year have opened in 50 point.

Seems they’ve taken Thorpe/Agnel’s criticism of 200 free swimmers not grabbing races by the scruff of the neck to heart!

2 years ago

Woo is this guy?

Mr Piano
2 years ago

We haven’t seen talent like this at 18 in the 200 free since when Thorpe went 1:44.0 in 2001

Big Cat
2 years ago


Old Man Chalmers
2 years ago

please break sun yang’s asian record

Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
2 years ago

With a hammer.

About Retta Race

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.

Read More »