200 Freestyle Top Seed Hwang Sunwoo: “I’m Surprised At My Time”


During day 2 prelims of these Olympic Games, we saw a World Junior Record go down in the form of Hwang Sunwoo in the men’s 200m freestyle.

The 18-year-old swimmer from Korea kicked off his Olympic debut with a big-time heats performance of 1:44.62. That not only claimed the top seed heading into the semi-final but it also overwrote his own previous lifetime best and WJR mark of 1:44.96. That result was posted just this past May.

On his performance here in Tokyo to set the stage for a raging pair of semi-finals, the emerging teen superstar told SwimSwam, “I’m surprised at the time.”

He continued, “It wasn’t what I expected but I hope I can keep up this pace until the finals and end it well.”

Hwang’s time represented the only sub-1:45 performance and his outing overtook a significant national record held by Olympic champion Park Tae Hwan.

The newly-minted national record holder will race in lane 4 of heat 2, with another teen by the name of David Popovici of Romania giving us his semi-final performance in the prior heat. Flanking Hwang will be a pair of dangerous Britons to the tune of World Championships co-bronze medalist Duncan Scott and the man who touched 2nd behind him at their nation’s Trials, Tom Dean.

Others in heat 1 include Brazil’s Fernando Scheffer, Australian 19-year-old Tommy Neill and the World Championships co-bronze medalist Martin Malyutin of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

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Scotty P
1 month ago

Still waiting on that Biederman record to go down. He’s probably a really nice guy but……….you know……

Reply to  Scotty P
1 month ago

He was pretty honest about the affect of the supersuit—estimating it took off about 0.5 per 50, so 2 seconds or a 1:44 flat

Maybe it was more than 0.5, but still a candid concession

Reply to  Teddy
1 month ago

Could Phelps have been 1:40.9 in that suit? I think he’d surely be 1:41.xx

Mr Piano
Reply to  JCO
1 month ago

I think he would have been around what biedermann went. The suit doesn’t linearly make people faster. Biedermann didn’t need dolphin kicks to equal Phelps off the wall because of his suit, that’s what it does. It removes streamlining errors and lifts you up. So more muscular people benefit from the suit more.

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Teddy
1 month ago

Yep. The German swimmers were honest about acknowledging the positive effects of super suit.

I remember Britta Steffen said she was like riding hydrofoil boat when she was swimming in her super suit.

Reply to  Texas Tap Water
1 month ago

The Power of German Engineering

Craig Beardsley
1 month ago


1 month ago

He would go faster if he would breathe more.

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Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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