Hwang Sun-woo “Asian Games are right around the corner”

“The longest break I’ve ever had was when I had to self-isolate for 10 days in accordance with the quarantine law after competing in an international competition,” Hwang Sun-woo (20, Gangwon Provincial Office) said on a broadcast entertainment program last year.

After becoming the first South Korean swimmer in history to win back-to-back world championship medals and taking four days off work, Hwang won’t be leaving the water.

“I’m going to go home today and have a good rest and sleep,” Hwang said in an interview at Incheon International Airport after returning home from the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka on Sept. 31, “but I can’t take a break from swimming right now. The Hangzhou Asian Games (starting on Sept. 23) will be held in a month and a half. I will continue to swim and then return to the Jincheon Athletes’ Village next week.”

Hwang finished third in the men’s 200-meter freestyle at this year’s World Championships in a Korean record time of 1:44.42.

Hwang, who finished second in the event in Budapest last year (1:44.47), achieved a feat not accomplished by the “original Marine Boy” Park Tae-hwan: winning back-to-back World Championship medals.

The South Korean won gold in the 400-meter freestyle and bronze in the 200-meter freestyle at the 2007 Melbourne Games, and after a bronze medal in the 2009 Rome Games, he redeemed himself with a gold in the 400-meter freestyle at the 2011 Shanghai Games.

In Fukuoka, Hwang broke the Korean record in the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay with Lee Ho-joon (22-Daegu Metropolitan City), Kim Woo-min (21) and Yang Jae-hoon (25-Gangwon Province) in the preliminaries (7:06.82) and finals (7:04.07-6th).

Despite not qualifying for the final, Lee Ju-ho (28-Seogwipo City Hall), Choi Dong-yeol (24-Gangwon Provincial Office) and Kim Young-beom (17-Gangwon Chego) also set a new Korean record in the men’s 400-meter medley relay (3:34.25).

Four of the eight Korean records at the Fukuoka Games were set in Hwang’s events.

Despite making history in Korean swimming, Hwang is not basking in the glory.

“I have a really tough schedule this year and next year. “The World Championships just ended, and I have the Asian Games in September, the National Championships in October, and the 2024 National Team Trials in November.” “Next year, I have the World Championships in Doha in February and the Olympics in Paris in July. It’s a tough journey,” he said, explaining why he can’t take a break.

The tight schedule made him feel depressed, but he quickly said, “It’s the role of an athlete to train according to such a schedule,” adding, “I want to keep making good records and good performances.”

In Fukuoka, Hwang had mixed feelings.

“It felt good to break the Korean record in the 200-meter freestyle and win a bronze medal,” he said of his “happy memories,” but “I was disappointed with my time in the 100-meter freestyle (48.08 – ninth in the semifinals).

“In the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay, I didn’t swim well because I wasn’t feeling well, but seniors Lee Ho-joon, Kim Woo-min and Yang Jae-hoon broke the Korean record. It was a grateful and satisfying memory.”

Hwang joined the ‘cheering squad for Korean athletes’ after his race.

“In Gwangju in 2019, when I first competed at the World Championships, it was not easy for a Korean swimmer to reach the semifinals, but in Budapest last year and Fukuoka this year, many Koreans reached the final and semifinals,” he said, expressing a sense of camaraderie, “Korean swimming continues to improve, and I am proud that I can now compete in international competitions with these members.”

Hwang was also encouraged by the world-class performances of the Chinese swimmers in the management category at the World Championships, including the four gold medals won by newcomer Qin Haiyang in the men’s breaststroke.

“I used to think of swimming as a ‘stage for Western athletes,’ but now Asian athletes are winning a lot of medals,” Hwang said. “I realized once again that nothing is impossible, and I hope that I and other Korean athletes will also perform well on the world stage.”

At the Hangzhou Asian Games, Hwang will be competing against Chinese athletes again. At the Asian Games, the only way to win gold is to beat the Chinese.

Although he didn’t make the final in the 200m freestyle at the World Championships, his clash with Fan Zhanle, who finished fourth in the 100m with an Asian record of 47.43, will be one of the biggest matches in the swimming events at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

“In the 200m freestyle, I’m ranked No. 1 in Asia, so I’ll be training hard to maintain that position at the Asian Games,” said Huang. “In the 100m, the gap between Fan Zhanle’s time (47.56) and mine is quite big. It’s going to be hard to beat that in a month and a half. However, I hope to close the gap with Panzaner in the 100 meters and get on the podium.”

Hwang Sun-woo, the centerpiece of South Korea’s golden generation of swimmers, also wished his teammate well.

“The 800-meter freestyle relay is another event I would like to win a medal in,” he said, “and I hope the Hangzhou Asian Games will be a place where other Korean athletes can do their best in their respective events and get the medals and records they want.” 안전카지노사이트

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