Swimmer Park comes up one gold medal short

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Swimmer Park comes up one gold medal short

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Park Tae-hwan came up short of defending his 2006 Asiad title in the 1,500-meter freestyle event but managed to place second with a time of 15:01.72 at the Aoti Acquatics Center.

Park was no match for Sun Yang of China, the top-ranked swimmer in the event, who finished first with a new Asian record of 14:35.43. Zhang Lin, the previous Asian record holder in the event, finished third at 15:22.03.

Park entered the 1,500-meter event with a time of 15:13.91, the third-best time in the qualifiers.

Sun Yang and Zhang Lin entered the event with the two fastest times in the heats.

Park completed the 16th Asiad with three gold medals and one silver in individual events.

He has had a hectic schedule in Guangzhou, competing in a total of four individual events as well as three relay events, including the 4 x 100-meter medley relay last night. But he has also had to deal with distractions. He has undergone a total of three doping tests since arriving in Guangzhou. Considering he also underwent a doping test in Korea prior to departing for Guangzhou, it’s an excessive amount of stress.

“Under FINA regulations, swimmers are supposed to be given a period of rest after a race before their doping tests,” Park’s coach, Michael Ball, told the JoongAng Ilbo.

“Urine tests are one thing but Tae-hwan has had to submit two blood tests,” said Noh Min-sang, the national swim team head coach. “The stress of undergoing such tests must have been tough on him.”


By Jason Kim [jason@joongang.co.kr]
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