Park will swim at Asian Games

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Park will swim at Asian Games

The 2008 Olympic swimming champion Park Tae-hwan will compete in his fourth consecutive Asian Games for Korea, the sport’s national governing body said Wednesday.

The Korea Swimming Federation (KSF) announced a roster of 31 male and 28 female athletes who will represent the country at the Aug. 18-Sept. 2 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia.

Park, who won the Olympic title in the men’s 400-meter freestyle 10 years ago, will be racing in his fourth consecutive Asian Games.

The 28-year-old made his Asian Games debut as a high school sophomore in 2006 in Doha, Qatar, winning three gold medals in the 200m, 400m and 1,500m freestyle en route to earning the competition’s MVP honors.

Four years later in Guangzhou, China, Park captured gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle races.

At the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Park competed in an arena bearing his name, but his one silver and five bronze medals were wiped from the record books after his positive doping test.

After his 18-month doping ban ended, Park entered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro but failed to make it out of the heats in the 100m, 200m and 400m free. He later withdrew from the 1,500m free.

Park has since bounced back, finishing fourth in the 400m free at the 2017 world championships and narrowly missing his fourth career medal at the biennial competition.

In April this year, Park handily won the 100m, 200m, 400m and 1,500m titles at the national team trials.

The 400m free remains Park’s main event. In his win at the national team trials two months ago, Park finished his 400m in 3:46.50, the seventh-fastest time in the world this year. Mack Horton of Australia leads all swimmers in 2018 with a time of 3:43.76. Park’s personal best time is 3:41.53, set at the 2010 Asian Games.

The KSF hasn’t yet finalized events for each swimmer. In addition to his individual races, Park is also expected to enter relays.

On the women’s side, two rising stars, An Se-hyeon and Kim Seo-yeong, both made the team.

At last year’s world championships, An, 22, set national records in both the 100m and 200m butterfly, and finished fourth in the latter, the highest placement ever by a Korean woman at a major international competition. This will be An’s first Asian Games.

Kim, 24, set a new national record in the 200m individual medley and finished sixth in that event.

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