Korean swimmer Park to race 100 meters in Shanghai

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Korean swimmer Park to race 100 meters in Shanghai

Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan will enter the men’s 100-meter freestyle at next month’s world championships, his management company said Tuesday.

The sports division at SK Telecom said Park has added the 100 to his usual repertoire of the 200- and 400-meter freestyle events for the world championships in Shanghai, next month.

It will be Park’s third world championships.

Park has never competed in the 100-meter freestyle at the worlds or at the Olympics, though he did win the Guangzhou Asian Games gold in that distance last November.

SK Telecom said Park was buoyed by his recent run in the 100. At the Santa Clara International Grand Prix in California last weekend, Park edged American great Michael Phelps to take the 100 crown at 48.92 seconds.

In Guangzhou, Park came in at 48.70.

“At the grand prix and the Asian Games, Park posted better times than the world championship qualifying time of 49.23 seconds,” his management said in a statement. “And Park’s coach Michael Bohl granted his wish to compete in the 100.”

In previous worlds, Park has raced in the 200, 400 and 1,500 freestyle and won the 400 title at the 2009 championships. He has stopped competing in the 1,500 since the Asian Games to focus on short-distance events.

Park was scheduled to return to Brisbane, Australia, yesterday to rejoin Bohl. He plans to travel to Shanghai on July 17.

The world championships start on July 16 with diving, and Park’s first event will be the 400 on July 24, followed by the 200 on the following day and the 100 on July 27.

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