Sunday was a day of rest for Korean swimming superstar Park Tae-Hwan, which left the country’s butterfliers to steal the show on the 5th out of 6 days of competition in Gincheon.
First in the men’s race, Yun Seok Hwan won with a new Meet Record of 53.85, which gives him a sweep of the sprint butterfly events at this meet. Yun beat in this race 22-year old Chang Gyu-Choel, who is the National Record holder but only swam 54.02 for 2nd place.
Then, a few minutes later, An Se Hyeon came away with a new overall National Record in the women’ s 100 fly, posting a 58.56. The old mark was a 59.32, and with An being only 18 years old, she could be the female star who joins Park in the spotlight in Rio in 2016.
That result ties An with Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi as 24th-best in the world this year, and most importantly also ties Hoshi as the 3rd-best among two-per-country rankings of Asian nations. That means that An will have a chance at a medal at the Asian Games later this year. The country’s highest finisher in the women’s 100 fly in 2010 was just 7th.
That was the only National Record of the day, but Meet Records continued to fly off of the boards. In the men’s 50 free, Yang Jungdoo swam a 22.92 to win and become the first man under 23 seconds in this meet’s history.
Lee Jae Young won the women’s 50 free in 25.81.
Park will be back in the pool on Monday swimming the men’s 400 IM. The last day of this meet will be a grueling trek, with the 1500 freestyle, the 400 IM’s, and the 400 medley relays.