Hwang Sunwoo Reflects On Asian Games Success As He Inspires Korean Squad

Retta Race
by Retta Race 0

September 30th, 2023 Asia, International, News


The 19th Asian Games may have wrapped up last night from Hangzhou, China but the top performers from the six-day swimming competition are still basking in the glow of victory.

China was far and away the best-performing swimming nation but the fact Korea finished 2nd in the swimming medal table, beating Japan for the first time ever, is symbolic of the nation’s upward trajectory with Paris on the horizon.

Among the most successful Korean swimmers was Hwang Sunwoo, with the 20-year-old capturing a perfect 6-for-6 podium result for his event program. Hwang came away with 2 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronze to represent a big contributor to Korea’s historic result.

In fact, Hwang’s collection of hardware fell just one shy of matching the record for most swimming medals by a South Korean at a single Asian Games. That honor is still held by Park Tae Hwan who earned 7 medals both at the 2006 and the 2010 editions.

Hwang Sunwoo‘s 2023 Asian Games Results:

  • Gold- men’s 200m free
  • Gold – men’s 4x200m free relay
  • Silver – men’s 4x100m free relay
  • Silver. – men’s 4x100m medley relay
  • Bronze – men’s 100m free
  • Bronze – mixed 4x100m medley relay

Reflecting on his performances here in Hangzhou, Hwang said, “I honestly don’t know if I even deserve so many medals at my first Asian Games.

“Winning an individual race is one thing. To win relay medals with my teammates is really special.” (Korea Times)

Hwang’s most impressive performance came in the individual men’s 200m freestyle where he topped the podium in a big-time 1:44.40, improving his own national record by .02.

“I’ve been improving my record by 0.01 or 0.02 second lately, and I figured I’ve reached a point where it’s going to be hard to get much faster,” Hwang said.

“And to be able to cut another 0.02 second off my national record, it feels extremely gratifying. I feel so proud of this record, and I want to keep breaking it.” (Yonhap)

Hwang’s time came within .01 of the Asian Record of 1:40.39 held by China’s Sun Yang.

“I came so close to the Asian record, but I am going to keep racing,” Hwang said. “I will stay focused on improving my personal best.”

And Hwang’s success is helping generate motivation within the Korean squad as a whole. The men’s 200m backstroke champion Lee Juho said of Hwang, “Having such a world-class athlete as a teammate gives me so much strength. I can really lean on him.” (Yonhap)

But Hwang and company aren’t planning on resting on their laurels, as they are set to race at the Korean National Sports Festival in October followed by national team trials in November.

Then it’s the dawn of 2024, the calendar year that includes the World Championships in February and the Olympic Games over the summer.

Looking ahead, Hwang said, “Everyone else will have to deal with the same schedule, and it’s up to the athletes to build up their bodies to withstand that grind.

“I want to build on the momentum from here and continue to put up great results in both individual and relay events.” (Korea Times)

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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.

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