99th KOREAN SPORTS FESTIVAL
- Saturday, October 13th – Thursday, October 18th (swimming portion)
- Eonbuk Iksan Ungpo, Korea
- Results (Korean)
Despite hinting at possible retirement, 2008 Olympic champion Park Tae Hwan made a splash in his first race of the 99th Korean Sports Festival, anchoring his squad to gold in the men’s 800m freestyle relay.
Representing Team Incheon, the 2008 Olympic champion entered the pool with his foursome in 4th place, but steadily fought his way to the wall, including a feisty final 50, to give his team the win in a new meet record effort of 7:23.12.
Just by hand-timing his swim, I clocked Park at a split of 1:46.53, composed of 24.74/27.03/28.02/26.75 from the video below. (Courtesy of Currency TV)
Also making their mark on the meet thus far is Kim Seoyeong, who collected the gold in the women’s 200m freestyle, breaking the Festival Record in the process. She registered a time of 1:58.87 to overtake the old meet standard of 1:59.24 and also come within less than .3 of Easop Lee‘s NR of 1:58.64 set last year.
In the very early season rankings, Seoyeong’s time places her in the top 5 in the world.
Im Da-Sol won the women’s 200m back in a time of 2:12.80, crushing the 2:13.66 she produced for 5th place at the Asian Games just a few weeks ago, while Yang Jiwon was victorious in the women’s 100m breast. Jiwon tied Asian Games 5th place finisher Kim Hye Jin, as they both posted a podium-topping 1:08.51 to tie in Ungpo.
An Sehyeon easily took the women’s 200m fly in a time of 2:09.85, about a second off of the 2:08.83 she posted for 4th place in Jakarta. Again, in the extremely early world rankings, Sehyeon now wears the 200 fly crown.
Park is still scheduled to swim the 200m free and 400m free where he is expected to take the podium. At last year’s edition of the National Sports Festival of Korea, the 29-year-old raked in 5 golds, marked by wins in the 200m free, 400m free, 4 x 200m free relay, 4 x 100m free relay and 4 x 100m medley, so the man is on his way to matching that total by the end of the week.