The 2018 Asian Games are set to commence on August 18th in Indonesia and the Korean Swimming Federation has confirmed that Olympian Park Tae Hwan will indeed be competing. Although the 28-year-old’s specific events have not yet been revealed, he recently swept an impressive 4 freestyle events at his nation’s championships, taking gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle.
The Asian Games boosted Park’s career in his early days, where the then-16-year-old kicked off his international career by winning the meet’s MVP award back in 2006. At those Games, Park raced his way to 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle gold. He followed that up with triple gold across the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle in 2010 before taking on the 2014 edition of the Games. In between, he became 400m freestyle Olympic champion in 2008.
Park indeed swam away with 5 medals at the 2014 Asian Games in China, but the results were ultimately washed away due to a positive doping test made public in early 2015. The Asian superstar served an 18-month ban that rendered him out of the 2015 World Championships and almost out of the Rio Olympics.
He bounced back with a trio of gold medals at the 2016 Short Course World Championships, including setting a new Asian Record in the 1500m event. Park fell just short of the 400m freestyle podium in Budapest, finishing in 4th at his first long course World Championships in 4 years.
At present, Park holds the world’s 8th fastest 400m freestyle time of 2018 with his mark of 3:46.50 set at Korean Nationals. That time sits as the 2nd fastest among Asian swimmers, positioned only behind China’s Sun Yang, setting up a big battle when the two go head-to-head in Jakarta.