27-year-old Park Tae Hwan is gearing up for his next competition, the South Korean Nationals slated for October 21st to October 26th at the Cheong-ju Indoor Swimming Pool. Although Park has been known to compete across the entire freestyle distance spectrum, he is reportedly limiting his appearances to just the 200m and 400m events at the national meet.
Last year, the 2008 Olympic champion raced in his nation’s championship meet, which doubled one of two of Korea’s Olympic-qualifying competitions, even though at the time Park was ineligible to qualify for Rio. Due to his doping suspension, Park was originally subject to the Korean Olympic Committee’s rule that doping offenders be banned an additional 3 years. But, that was overturned by the Court Arbitration for Sport (CAS) who ultimately determined that the medalist was indeed eligible to compete at the 2016 Olympics.
Although lackluster in those Olympic Games in Rio, Park tore it up in Windsor at the Short Course World Championships last year, winning the 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyles in record-setting times. At the long course version of the championships in Budapest, Park still performed solidly, though off the podium, finishing 4th in the 400m, 8th in the 200m and 9th in the 1500m freestyle races.
Park, along with countrymate An Se Hyeon, was named as an official honorary ambassador for the 2019 FINA World Championships headed to Gwangju, South Korea on July 12th – 28th.