Minus Park Tae Hwan, Korea’s Best Ready To Race at Trials #2


As we reported back in March, a last-minute change to the 2019 Korean World Championships Trials now sees the second of two such meets taking place this weekend.

Originally planned for June 1st – 4th at Nambu University Aquatics Center, which doubles as the site for this summer’s World Championships, the Trials were moved to Gimcheon Swimming Pool. With the dates happening this weekend instead of June, that means swimmers now have 2 fewer weeks to prepare to qualify for the biggest non-Olympic long course swimming competition.

But if the performances at the Korean Trials #1 were any indication, the Korean swimmers are ready to rock, with 2 national records having been broken during that March meet. Qualifying for the World University Games (Summer Universiade), Moon Jaekwon and Kim Seoyeong each collected a new national standard.

Jaekwon, the man who finished 6th in the 100m breaststroke at last summer’s Asian Games, blew away his time from that competition with a new lifetime best in the event with a time of 1:00.20.  That scorched the 1:01.07 he put up in that final in Jakarta, and also shaved .29 off of his previous personal best and NR time of 1:00.49 from the New South Wales State Championships in 2018.

Seoyeong did damage across several events at the Gimcheon Swimming Pool, but her best performance came in the 200m freestyle. Clocking a mark of 1:58.41, Seoyeong dipped under the Korean national record of 1:58.64 that Easop Lee put on the books back in 2017 at a Pro Swim Series in the U.S.

Both Jaekwon and Seoyong are slated to compete this weekend for a chance to add their names to Korea’s World Championships roster. They’ll be joined by the likes of An Sehyeon and Lee Juho.

One person we know will not be competing is FINA World Championships ambassador Park Tae Hwan.Park has signed a new contract with Incheon City and has completed his Korean Swimming Federation (KSF) registration for this year. Park has said he will compete at the National Sports Festival in Seoul, slated for early October. 2019 marks the 100th edition of the national event, so his competing there could be his final send-off into retirement.

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4 years ago

I predict that in Tokyo 2020, either An Sehyeon or Kim Seoyeong will become the first Korean female to win an Olympic swimming medal. They may possibly both do it.

4 years ago

Is there a reason he wouldn’t wait until after Tokyo to retire? Haven’t been keeping up with this guy.

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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