South Korean Olympian Park Tae Hwan, who was officially given an Olympic bid to Rio after an emergency KOC meeting in early July, is entered in 4 events for the Games. Park’s schedule includes not only his traditional 200, 400, and 1500 free, but also the 100 free.
Park heads to Rio as the defending silver medalist in the 400 free, and owns the gold medal in that event from 2008. His season best is a 3:44.26 from Korean Olympic Trials, which ranks him 6th in the world this year. He’s also the defending silver medalist in the 200 free, and comes into Rio at 13th in the world rankings with a 1:46.41. If Park medals in either event in Rio, it would give him 3 straight Olympic podium finishes in that event.
In the 100 free, which he hasn’t swum in the past Olympics, his season best 48.91 makes him the fastest Korean of the year. That time is within a half second of his lifetime best 48.42 from 2014 from the New South Wales Open Championships in Australia.
In the lead up to Rio, there was question about whether or not Park would be allowed to compete at the Olympics. He was initially ruled out of the Games due to a 3-year suspension placed on him by the KOC after a positive doping test in 2014. However, Park’s appeal to the Court Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was ruled in his favor, establishing his eligibility for the Games. The KOC then overturned its own ban on Park, allowing him to represent Korea in Rio.