Hwang Sunwoo Scares Biedermann’s World Record With 1:39.72 SCM 200 Free

Yanyan Li
by Yanyan Li 8

December 18th, 2022 Asia, International, News


Out of lane 8, 19-year-old South Korean swimmer Hwang Sunwoo put on a show in the men’s 200 free at the 2022 Short Course World Championships, dominating the race and clocking a 1:39.72 to win. He was under world record pace for nearly 175 meters of his race, and becomes the third-fastest performer of all-time—just 0.35 seconds off Paul Biedermann‘s super-suited world record time of 1:39.37 from 2009. He is also just 0.02 seconds off of Yannick Agnel’s textile world record from 2012.

Hwang’s swim destroys Danas Raspys‘ championship record time of 1:40.95, which was set at the 2018 edition of short course worlds. He also breaks his own Asian record time of 1:40.99, which was set leading off the 4×200 free relay at this meet.

As the defending short course world champion in the 200 free, Hwang came into this meet with a best time of 1:41.17. He has since then dropped over a second off that time.

All-Time Top Performers, Men’s 200-Meter Free (SCM):

  1. Paul Biedermann, Germany — 1:39.37 (2009)
  2. Yannick Agnel, France — 1:39.70 (2012)
  3. Hwang Sunwoo, South Korea — 1:39.72 (2022)
  4. Danila Izotov, Russia — 1:40.08 (2009)
  5. Duncan Scott, Great Britain — 1:40.25 (2020)

Hwang opened in a 48.85, considerably faster than Biederman’s first 100 split of 49.29. However, Bidermann’s time outpaces Hwang’s time 51.06 to 50.08 on the back half, largely due to the German’s blistering 24.65 final 50. That being said, Hwang was extremely consistent throughout his race, as after the first 50 he held 25 splits throughout and descended his race.

Splits Comparison, Hwang vs. Biedermann:

Hwang Sunwoo, 2022 Short Course World Championships Paul Biedermann, 2009 FINA World Cup
50m 23.26 23.79
100m 25.62 25.50
150m 25.54 25.43
200m 25.52 24.65
Total 1:39.72 1:39.37


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1 year ago

With a broken finger!

1 year ago

That was such an awesome swim to watch! This really gives me hope that Popovici’s 1:42 this summer is going to be the catalyst for others to get down to those times in order to compete. The men’s 200 free has been stagnant for way too long now!

1 year ago

Honestly, Agnel should probably have this record

Sunwoo’s back half speed is insane, must’ve been training with the Aussies.

1 year ago

Never heard Sunwoo in interviews before so to hear him speaking English fairly well was a pleasant surprise. Took me a quick second to realize that he can speak a few languages.

Last edited 1 year ago by PFA
The unoriginal Tim
1 year ago

This is a very impressive swim. Easily overlooked when WRs are falling left and right but it has been a very long time since anyone dipped under 1:40.

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
1 year ago

Double impressive when he did it from lane 8, he pulled an ALMSICK (1994) and a PERKINS (1996).

Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
1 year ago

And Blake pieroni from 2018 there seems to be something special about that lane in the 2 free at SC worlds.

Hammer time
1 year ago

Kid is a boss…..looks like doing some back end work in the fall with Aussie coach Matt Magee payed off with that last 50.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming by being her high school swim team's manager for four years. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in January 2022, where she hopes to contribute to and learn more about …

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