South Korea’s Hwang Sunwoo Posts 1:58.04 In Just His 2nd 200 IM Performance


While 18-year-old rising star Matt Sates was breaking World Junior Records in short course on the World Cup circuit, another breakout swimmer in his generation was getting the job done domestically.

South Korea’s multi-Olympic finalist Hwang Sunwoo, also 18, busted out a new lifetime best and national record in the men’s 200m IM while competing at the 102nd Korean National Sports Festival.

In Gimcheon tonight, Hwang threw down a time of 1:58.04 to top the 200m IM field handily. That outing overtook the previous national record of 2:00.31 that was held by Olympian Park Tae Hwan from 2014. As such, Hwang hacked over 2 seconds from that former mark.

Splits for the teen’s new record included: 25.66/30.36 (56.02)/34.91 (1:30.93)/27.11 (1:58.04)

Hwang’s personal best before this morning had been 2:00.77, a time he produced in March of this year as his first outing ever in the event. As such, the man has made a statement with tonight’s effort, getting under 2:00 in a matter of 7 months.

This is another exciting prospect of a race for the talented teen who nearly took a medal in both the 100m and 200m freestyle events at this summer’s Olympic Games. There in Tokyo, Hwang placed 5th in the 100m in 47.82 (47.56 in the semi-final) and then 7th in the 200m free in 1:45.26.

Hwang also took the men’s 50m free at this Festival, clocking a time of 22.23. That, too, checked in as a new personal best, slicing .16 off of his previous PB of 22.39 from the Olympic Trials. Hwang is now the 2nd fastest Korean man ever in the 50m free, sitting only behind national record holder Jaehoon Yang’s 22.16 from last year.


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8 months ago

Love how the phrase “the man” appears dozens of times in every Retta article.
Like a signature

Reply to  Uhhh
8 months ago

Each writer has our own style, subconsciously or otherwise.

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
8 months ago

MA looking at the final 50 split and crying in his sleep rn



8 months ago

FYI this is more impressive than Sates’ SC 200IM performance

Reply to  John26
8 months ago

If Ryan Lochte, who is a SC demigod has 5 seconds between his SC and LC IMs, I’d think it’s fair to say that Sates would be within 7 seconds of his own time in LC as well.

Reply to  John26
8 months ago

Sates already went 1:57 in May.

8 months ago

27.11 coming home is just DIRTY…

Coach Mike 1952
8 months ago

His 200 IM bodes well. He is certainly fearless – didn’t he go out under 50 in that 200 final in Tokyo & then get closely acquainted with “the piano”?

Last edited 8 months ago by Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
8 months ago

Just waiting to see how many times we will hear the piano at worlds

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
8 months ago

Below 50 and he actually backed off a little bit in the final 10 meters going out. He seemed to sense it was a bit fast. Otherwise it would have been closer to 49.5. Then he had a half body length lead at 150 before being engulfed. I thought he looked better than Popovici at both 100 and 200. Granted it was 18 to 16. But Hwang was more aggressive and his flaws are very obvious and fixable. His launch was subpar, which is typical for a teenager before getting stronger. He came up too quickly exiting the wall. But once it’s pure swimming Hwang was great. He was alongside Dressel and cut the margin from a full body length… Read more »

Tom Dean Boxall
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
8 months ago

At least we no longer have to see the Sun Yang start and turns, that was even worse

Eric the eel > Phelps
8 months ago

Given these youngsters rate of improvement, i bet he will already be 1.55+ in fukuoka

Reply to  Eric the eel > Phelps
8 months ago

Depends on if he focuses on the IM and the frequency he races it at meets. Training alone won’t get him to reach that mark

JP input is too short
8 months ago

27.1 closing split?!

tea rex
Reply to  JP input is too short
8 months ago

That’s spicy!

Reply to  tea rex
8 months ago

What was MA again?

Reply to  Swimmerfromjapananduk
8 months ago

He’s been anywhere from 29.9 to 30.6 I believe

Coach Coach
Reply to  Swimmerfromjapananduk
8 months ago

MA was Slow AF

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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