19th ASIAN GAMES
- Sunday, September 24th – Friday, September 29th (swimming)
- Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Aquatic Sports Arena, Hangzhou, China
- LCM (50m)
- Meet Central
The 19th Asian Games are nearly upon us, with swimming action kicking off on Sunday, September 24th from Hangzhou, China. This edition of the Games was originally postponed from 2022 due to COVID-19-related concerns within the host nation.
While we await the official start lists for the prestigious event, nations have been releasing their rosters, including South Korea.
A total of 24 swimmers, 15 men and 9 women, will represent the nation as it tries to beat its best-ever performance from over a decade ago. It was at the 2010 edition where Korea took home 4 golds 3 silvers, and 6 bronze medals, with Olympic medalist Park Tae Hwan claiming a trio of golds by himself.
With the likes of Hwang Sunwoo and Kim Woomin among the entrants, Korea is eyeing some big results and potentially history-making performances when all is said and done.
Hwang will be taking on his bread-and-butter 100m and 200m freestyle events, as well as the men’s 4x200m free relay. Although he enters the Asian Games as World Championships bronze medalist, 20-year-old Hwang understands that he’ll have his work cut out for him against the likes of China’s Pan Zhanle.
Last month, Hwang said of the Chinese speedster, “In the 100m, I will be chasing him, and I won’t feel that much pressure there.
“In the 200m, I am a little faster but his personal best is not that far from my best record. I won’t let my guard down and I will try to stay focused.” (SwimSwam)
The best men’s 4x200m freestyle relay result achieved by the nation was represented by a silver medal captured in 1994.
However, the relay is on the rise, making recent strides on the elite international stage. The team captured a 6th place finish at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest and 4th place at the 2022 Short Course World Championships, setting new national standards over each course.
At this year’s World Championships the squad lowered its national record down to a time of 7:04.07, a result which would have easily taken gold at the last edition of the Asian Games in 2018.
But Kim in particular also has a chance to make history in his own right, potentially becoming the first Korean man to claim 4 gold medals, beating the aforementioned Park.
Kim will be racing the 400m free, 800m free and 1500m free in addition to the relay and the 22-year-old is brimming with confidence.
He placed 5th in the 400m free at this year’s World Championships, nabbing a new personal best of 3:43.92. He also broke the Korean national record to place 14th in the 800m free in 7:47.69, with both results representing the best of all Asian swimmers in Fukuoka.
“I really want to make a memorable debut at my first Asian Games,” Kim said. “I am going to try to enjoy the pressure that comes with trying to win four gold medals.” (Yonhap News)
“Since I’ve entered the 3:43 range [in the 400m free], I am pretty confident I can finish first at the Asian Games. But I won’t let my guard down and will try to improve on my personal record.”
Specifically regarding the 4x200m free relay, Kim said, “We’re all in great form, especially after breaking the national record this year. All we have left to do now is to go out there and show people what we can do.”
Korean Roster for 2023 Asian Games