Park Sweeps Freestyle, Seo Yeong Blasts World #1 200 IM

2018 KOREAN NATIONALS

Heading into the recently-concluded 2018 Korean Nationals, Olympian Park Tae Hwan told the press that he wasn’t near peak form as of yet in his bid to make his 4th Asian Games roster.

“Since I got a late start, I should work that much harder for the Asian Games,” he told reporters at Incheon International Airport last week. “I am not getting any younger, and I’ve been trying hard to improve my conditioning and stamina. I’d like to prove that I am still a competitive swimmer this year.”

As such, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the 400m freestyle still swept his 4 individual events in Gwangju, the site of the 2019 World Championships, albeit in non-eye-popping efforts. In the men’s 100m free, Park’s weakest of the freestyle events, the 28-year-old clocked a winning time of 49.27. That’s a solid time for the man who has only been under the 49-second threshold 6 times in his career, including most recently in Atlanta with his 48.62 at last year’s Pro Swim.

In the 200m free in Gwangju, Park produced a very respectable 1:46.63 to win by almost 2 solid seconds ahead of the rest of the pack. That mark falls within half a second of 2017 fastest time of 1:46.28 and positions the Incheon Metropolitan City swimmer just outside the world’s top 10 this season.

A time of 3:46.50 clinched the 400m freestyle title for Park, while his mark of 15:14.99 captured the 1500m title to give him is 4th gold over the span of the meet. His 400m freestyle effort now checks-in as the 7th fastest this season and 2nd fastest Asian only behind world leader Sun Yang of China.

2017-2018 LCM MEN 400 FREE

SunCHN
YANG
09/01
3.41.94
2Mack
HORTON
AUS3.43.7604/05
3Jack
McLOUGHLIN
AUS3.44.2008/11
4Mykhaylo
ROMANCHUK
UKR3.45.1808/03
5James
GUY
GBR3.45.3204/05
5Zane
GROTHE
USA3.45.3208/11
7Alexander
KRASNYKH
RUS3.45.8404/20
View Top 26»

In terms of national records, both the men’s and women’s boards saw new marks entered when all was said and done in Gwangju. Kang Ji Seok took the men’s 50m backstroke in a new national record-setting time of 24.93, while Lee Ju Ho set new national standards in both the 100m and 200m backstroke events.

Lee punched a time of 54.17 for the 100m and 1:57.67 in the 200m to enter new times into the Korean swimming books.

For the women, Kim Hye Jin earned a new national mark in the 100m breaststroke, stopping the clock at 1:07.44, while Kim Seo Yeong established a new national time in the 200m IM with her winning effort of 2:08.61.

Seo Yeong’s time beats out Asian rival Yui Ohashi to take over the top spot in the world in the 200m IM event, sans Hungary’s Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu’s competing this year thus far.

2017-2018 LCM WOMEN 200 IM

YuiJPN
OHASHI
08/11
2.08.16
2Kathleen
BAKER
USA2.08.3207/29
3Seoyeong
KIM
KOR2.08.3408/24
4Sydney
PICKREM
CAN2.09.0708/11
5Melanie
MARGALIS
USA2.09.4307/29
View Top 26»

Seo Yeong’s 2:08.61 clocking crushed her own pervious personal best of 2:09.86 set in the semi-finals of the 2017 World Championships. She wound up finishing 6th overall in that competition’s final (2:10.40), but her new sub-2:09 national record would have given her the bronze medal in Budapest.

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tammy touchpad error

Whoa Korean swimming is really coming along! Awesome! Asian Games will be really good this year for both men and women!

Philip

Say what you want about Park, but he has incredible range. PB of 22.74 in the 50 plus a 14:47.38 1500 PB is no easy feat. And he can swim a 100 in under 49 seconds.

Tea rex

How many sub-15:00 milers have gone sub-23?
I bet it is a very small club

Joel Lin

I’m guessing the list is Park & Ryk Neethling.

Those two guys are also the two sweetest freestyle stroke technicians I’ve ever seen.

Hank

?. Any expert weigh in?

Jmanswimfan

He’s pretty dope

Tonberry

Completely agree. And don’t forget how challenging it is to compete from 100 to 1500 in tightly packed international meets. To pull through such a grueling schedule with form is no mean feat. I still remember the SC champs in Windsor back in 2016: 4 events, 3 golds, 2 competition records, 1 swimmer! Totally blew my mind away!

Brownish

In this case also from Windsor, from 50 to 400: 1 swimmer, 9 events, 7 golds and 2 silvers?

Aquajosh

I believe the 2019 Worlds will be the coming-out party for South Korea in swimming. They have the economic resources, facilities, and talent to become the next big thing.

What did An Sehyeon go in the fly events?

Ferb

They certainly had the economic resources to get Park’s doping suspension reduced.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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