On the 3rd day of the 2014 South Korean National Championships, Park Tae Hwan took his 3rd win, and in the process broke his third Meet Record.
Park cruised to a 3:44.75 in the swim, which beat runner-up Jang Sang-jin by almost exactly 10 seconds. Park now has the 100 free left to swim on Saturday, is off on Sunday, and the 400 IM for Monday after scratching out of a 400 IM/1500 free double.
Park now moves to 5th in the world in this 400 free. Overall, the swim wasn’t as impressive as his 200 world-leader earlier in the meet, and being just a bit off on his endurance might have contributed to the 1500 free scratch.
Overall, Friday was a light day at the Gimcheon Swim Stadium, with just three men’s and three women’s events contested. The women’s 400 free went to Kim Soo Yeon in 4:17.38, which matched Park’s swim as a Meet Record.
In the men’s 200 backstroke, Lim Tae Jung won in 1:59.46, which is yet another Meet Record at this contest. The winner of the 100 from earlier in the meet, Park Seon-Kwan, doesn’t race the 200 often, instead saving taking on the 50 back and the 100 free later in this meet. That was part of a severe lack of participation in the 200 meter event, which resulted in no preliminary round and just a six-swimmer final.
The women’s final, however, was full, resulting in a 2:13.88 for Ham Chan-mi of Jeiu City Hall. She was part of a 1-2 finish with teammate Ko Su Min (2:19.64).
In the men’s 200 breaststroke final, Choi Kyu-Woong added to his earlier victory in the 100 with a 2:13.45. He just out-touched Ju Jang-Hun (2:13.49) for the victory. Both swimmers have done masterfully well to just cruise through the preliminary rounds of the breaststrokes and save their energies for big battles in finals, but here in the 200 Choi did that better than his competitor, and that might have been the difference. Whereas Ju entered finals as the top seed and swam in the center lane, Choi came in as the 7th seed and was far to the outside.
And last, but not least, Back Su Yeon won the women’s 200 breaststroke in 2:27.04, but didn’t break a Meet Record: the only winning result of the day that failed to do so.