Hwang Sun-woo (20, Gangwon Provincial Office) is the poster boy of Korean swimming, and his main event is the 200-meter freestyle.
His two medals at the World Aquatics Championships in the long course (50 meters) – second in Budapest in 2022 and third in Fukuoka in 2023 – came in the men’s 200-meter freestyle.
In the 100-meter freestyle, however, he has never reached a World Championship final.
Hwang knows that he is more internationally competitive in the 200-meter freestyle.
However, he also wants to win the 100-meter freestyle, which he calls “an iconic event.
Hwang Sun-woo’s hard work paid off with a bronze medal at the Asian Games.
Hwang finished third in the men’s 100-meter freestyle final in 48.04 seconds on Thursday at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center pool in Hangzhou, China.
He missed out on the gold medal behind Pan Zhanle (19-China), who touched the wall in 46.97, and Wang Haoyu (18-China), who clocked 48.02, but became only the second South Korean swimmer ever to finish on the podium in the men’s 100-meter freestyle at an Asian Games, joining Park Tae-hwan.
Park won silver in Doha in 2006 and gold in Guangzhou in 2010.
If Hwang remains in peak form at the Aichi and Nagoya Asian Games in three years’ time, he will have another shot at the 100-meter freestyle title.
Hwang has already established himself as one of the world’s top swimmers in the 200-meter freestyle.
In the 100-meter freestyle, he is still a ‘challenger’.
However, he already has the best 100-meter freestyle time in South Korea’s history.
Hwang first made a name for himself on the world stage in the 100-meter freestyle at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021.
In the semifinals of the 100-meter freestyle, Hwang set a new Asian and world junior record of 47.56 seconds, becoming the first South Korean and first Asian swimmer to reach an Olympic final in the event in 65 years since Dani Atsushi (Japan) at Melbourne 1956. He finished fifth in the final in Tokyo.
Hwang set the South Korean record on Nov. 18, 2020, when he was a high school sophomore, with a time of 48.25, 0.17 seconds faster than Park Tae-hwan’s 48.42 set at the New South Wales (NSW) State Open Championships in February 2014, and the first time in six years and nine months.
Hwang then lowered his own and South Korea’s 100-meter freestyle record to 47.56.
He felt disappointed that he hadn’t broken his own record in more than two years, but he filled the void with training.
The 100-meter freestyle is a high barrier not only for Koreans, but also for Asian swimmers.
Only one athlete has ever won a medal in the men’s 100-meter freestyle at a world championship, Ning Zetao (China), who won the event in Kazan in 2015.
At the Olympic Games, no swimmer has stood on the podium since Hiroshi Suzuki (JPN) finished second in Helsinki in 1952.
However, Panzaner’s back-to-back fourth-place finishes at the 2022 Budapest and 2023 Fukuoka World Championships propelled him to the center of the world’s attention. He became the first Asian athlete to break the 47-second barrier. It was also the fastest time in the world this season (previously 47.15 by Kyle Chamus).
His rival’s performance was a good motivation for Hwang.
“The 100-meter freestyle is a more difficult event for Asians to overcome American, Australian and European swimmers because of their physical conditions,” said Hwang, adding, “Pan Zhanle’s good performance motivated me. If I can break my own record, I can be among the top swimmers on the world stage,” he said. 토토사이트