Hwang Sun-woo sets new Asian record in 100m freestyle
Hwang Sun-woo set a new Asian record in the men's 100-meter freestyle on Wednesday, recording a time of 47.56 seconds to become the first-ever Korean to reach the final of the event.
With the top eight advancing to the final, Hwang came in fourth out of 16 semifinalists on Wednesday morning with a time of 47.56, beating the Korean record of 47.97 seconds that he set just a few hours earlier on Tuesday evening.
This is also a new Asian record, breaking Chinese swimmer Ning Zetao’s record of 47.65 that held for eight years.
This comes after a series of record-breaking races from Hwang, who set a new Korean record in the men's 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:44.62 on Sunday. Swimming star and three-time Olympic medalist Park Tae-hwan had the previous Korean record of 1:44.80 at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. Hwang beat that time by 0.18 seconds.
Few athletes dominate a sport quite as much as Park, whose name is synonymous with swimming in Korea. Every single medal Korea has ever won in the sport — one gold and three silver — were won by Park over a blistering run that took in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.
Park put Korean swimming on the map at the 2008 Games, winning gold in the men's 400-meter freestyle and silver in the 200-meter freestyle. Park returned at London 2012, picking up two silver medals in the same two disciplines.
Before Hwang came along, Park was also the Korean record holder in the men's 100-meter freestyle as well. Hwang has already toppled two of Park's record and now has a second chance to become the second Korean ever to medal in swimming at the Olympics.
The finals for the men’s 100-meter freestyle will be held on Thursday at 11:37 a.m.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]