Fresh off winning his appeal with the Court Arbitration of Sport (CAS) regarding a controversial Korean Olympic Committee 3-year national team ban, Korean swimmer Park Tae Hwan is on his way to Orlando, Florida for his final training before leaving for Brazil on July 31st.
Park, the gold medalist in the men’s 400m freestyle at the 2008 Olympic Games, had been training in Australia and recently returned home to Korea before departing for Orlando today, July 17th. He is accompanied by Australian Coach Duncan Todd, a former member of that country’s national team who competed at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Todd, Head Coach at TAS Swimming Club in Queensland, worked with Park prior to his double silver medal-winning performance at the 2012 London Games.
Park is set to compete in the 100m/200m/400m/1500m freestyle events in Rio, the same schedule he swam at his nation’s Olympic Trials in which he swept freestyle gold medals. At this time, however, Park is only ranked within the world’s top ten in one event. His time of 3:44.26 in the men’s 400m freestyle currently sits as the 6th-fastest mark headed into the Rio Olympic Games.
In terms of training, Park told the press this week, “I know I haven’t had much time to prepare, but I’ve been training really hard over that short period of time,” Park said. “And I believe my hard work will pay off and I will be able to put together good performances. The most important thing will be to compete with confidence.”