An, Park named ambassadors for 2019 FINA games

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An, Park named ambassadors for 2019 FINA games

Korean swimming stars Park Tae-hwan and An Se-hyeon were named honorary ambassadors for the 2019 world championships on Wednesday.


From left, An Se-hyeon, Gwangju Mayor Yoon Jang-hyun and Park Tae-hwan after the two swimmers were named honorary ambassadors for the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju on Wednesday. [YONHAP]

The organizing committee for the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships, which will take place in Gwangju, unveiled Park and An as their goodwill ambassadors.

Park is the only Korean swimmer to win an Olympic medal. He captured the 400-meter freestyle gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver in the 200-meter freestyle. Four years later in London, Park won silver medals in the same events.

Park also won the world titles in the 400-meter freestyle in 2007 and 2011. At this year’s event, held in Budapest in July, Park ranked fourth in the 400-meter, eighth in the 200-meter and ninth in the 1,500-meter.

“It’s a privilege to be an honorary ambassador for the world championships held in my home country,” Park said. “I’ll try to ensure the success of this competition.”

An represents the future of Korean swimming. Although she, too, failed to win a medal in Budapest, An still wrote Korean swimming history by reaching the finals in the 200-meter butterfly and 100-meter butterfly. Her fourth-place finish in the 200-meter butterfly was the best placement ever by a Korean woman at a major international competition. An also broke three national records in Hungary.

“I’d like to thank the organizers for naming me an honorary ambassador,” An said. “I thought about what I could do to promote this event, and I think my job is to continue to do well in all competitions.”

The 2019 world championships will take place from July 12 to 28 and be the first time the event will take place in Korea.

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