The 98th National Sports Festival of Korea
- Saturday, October 21st – Thursday, October 26th
- Cheongju Indoor Swimming Pool, Chungbuk
- Results (Korean)
Several national records have already fallen halfway through the 98th National Sports Festival of Korea on both the men’s and women’s sides, while the most successful Korean Olympic swimmer, Park Tae Hwan, also brought his own level of speed to the mix.
In the men’s races, 19-year-old Won Young-jun established a new Korean national record in the 100m backstroke to kick things off, registering a winning time of 54.29. That slid comfortably under the previous national standard held by Park Seon Kwan at 54.41 since 2014.
Lee Ju Ho stepped things up in the 200m distance of the same discipline, ripping off a new national record of 1:58.31. The old 200m back national record was held by Im Tae-jeong with the mark of 1:58.49 set last year.
Another national mark fell in the 100m breaststorke, courtesy of Moon Jae-Kwon. Kwon set the bar high in the final, touching in 1:00.93 to surpass the previous Korean record of 1:00. 80 set by Choi Kyu-woong at the 2015 Military Games.
The final men’s national record to fall thus far came via a relay, as the foursome of Choi Min Woo, Park Seon-kwan, Yoo Gyu Sang and Park Tae Hwan combined to score a winning time of 7:19.37 for Team Incheon. The collective mark wiped out the old standard of 7:21.37 that’s been in place since the 2014 Asian Games. For Park’s part, he expectedly threw down the quickest split of his squad, earning an anchor of 1:45.29 to seal up the victory.
In Park’s individual quest thus far, the 28-year-old Olympian cranked out a 200m freestyle time of 1:46.23 to take gold in the men’s race by more than 3 seconds. His time in Chungbuk exactly met what he produced in the World Championships semi-final, which bodes well considering Park has only been in basic training for 5 weeks.
The women’s competition also set off some fireworks in the form of Back Su Yeon‘s performance in the 100m breaststroke. The two-time Olympian raced her way to the top of the podium in a time of 1:07.70, erasing the previous national record of 1:08.14. At the Olympic Games in Rio, she finished 29th in the 200m breaststroke, so look for her to race in that event later in the meet.
Although not a record, Ko Mi-So did some damage in the women’s 50m freestyle race, taking the title easily in a mark of 25.68. She owns the national record in the 100m distance, so expect Ko Mi-So to step things up come the longer sprint.