South Korean swimming took a huge leap forward at the Fukuoka 2023 World Aquatics Championships with eight new national records.
Korean swimmer Hwang Sun-woo (Gangwon Special Self-Governing Province) won the bronze medal in the 200-meter freestyle final at the event, clocking 1:44.42 to shave 0.05 seconds off his previous Korean record of 1:44.47. The bronze medal marks the first back-to-back World Championships medal in Korean swimming history.
While Korean swimming only won one medal at the Games, the country made strides with a slew of new Korean records.
It’s not just Hwang Sun-woo who broke records, but a wide range of athletes and events.
Rising ‘middle-distance powerhouse’ Kim Woo-min (Gangwon Special Self-Governing Province) also made a name for himself at the Games.
Kim clocked 7:47.69 in the 800m freestyle heats, breaking the 11-year-old Korean record of 7:49.93 set by Park Tae-hwan at the 2012 London Olympics by 2.24 seconds.
Lee Ho-joon (Daegu Metropolitan Government) also reached the final of the 200m freestyle alongside Hwang Sun-woo, marking another milestone in Korean swimming history with two swimmers in the final of a single event for the first time.
They also helped the South Korean 800-meter freestyle relay team improve its record.
South Korean swimmers Hwang Sun-woo and Lee Ho-joon receive training instructions at the Fukuoka Hall of Marine Messe Fukuoka in Fukuoka, Japan, on July 27, a day before the men’s 800m freestyle relay qualification for the 2023 World Aquatics Championships.
The team of Hwang Sun-woo, Kim Woo-min, Lee Ho-joon and Yang Jae-hoon touched the touchpad in 7:04.07 in the 800-meter freestyle relay final on July 28, tying for sixth place and setting a new Korean record. They shaved 2.75 seconds off their previous best time of 7:06.82 in the daytime preliminaries on the same day, nearly 10 hours after setting the Korean record.
With the goal of winning Asian Games gold and Olympic medals in the 800-meter freestyle relay, the KFA strategically built the team and invested heavily in overseas training.
The athletes received intensive care from the federation and improved their skills by training with renowned coaches and competing against world-class athletes. Their efforts were rewarded in Fukuoka with a series of victories.
South Korea’s Lee Eun-ji and Heo Yeon-kyung hold hands after the men’s and women’s 4x100m medley relay qualification at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships at Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall in Fukuoka, Japan, Saturday morning.
There were other record-breaking times in the mixed medley relay and mixed freestyle relay.
Ji Yoo-chan (Daegu Metropolitan City), Yang Jae-hoon (Gangwon Special Self-Governing Province), Heo Yeon-kyung (Bangsan University) and Jung So-eun (Ulsan Metropolitan City) swam the 400m medley relay in 3:27.99, shaving 1.36 seconds off the previous Korean Swimming record of 3:29.35.
The South Korean mixed medley relay team of Choi Dong-yeol (Gangwon Special Self-Governing Province), Kim Young-beom (Gangwon Chego), Lee Eun-ji and Heo Yeon-kyung (Bangsan University) clocked 3:47.09, breaking the previous South Korean record of 3:47.92 set in 2019 by 0.83 seconds.
The final Korean record came again from Hwang Sun-woo. Hwang, Choi Dong-yeol, Lee Ju-ho (Seogwipo City Hall), and Kim Young-beom (Gangwon Chego) clocked 3:34.25 in the men’s 400-meter medley relay, beating the previous record of 3:34.96 by 0.71 seconds.
This result was achieved in the relay, which requires multiple swimmers to perform evenly, not just one, which means that the competitiveness of the Korean swimming team as a whole has increased.
There were also valuable achievements in other sports outside of business.
Byun Jae-joon and Kim Ji-hye (Kyung Hee University), the first Korean swimmers to compete in the mixed artistic swimming event at the World Aquatics Championships, made the finals in both the technical and free events in their first appearance. While they were still far from the medals, it was enough to show their potential and promise.
Competing in the solo free, Heo Yun-seo (Apgu Jeong-go) finished sixth, the highest finish ever for Korean artistic swimmers at a World Championships.
Choi Byung-hwa of South Korea performs during the men’s high diving event at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships at Seaside Momochi Seaside Park in Fukuoka, Japan, Friday afternoon.
Choi Byung-hwa (31, Incheon Metropolitan Swimming Federation), South Korea’s only “high diver,” made history by becoming the first South Korean to compete in high diving at the World Championships.
Choi finished in 23rd place out of 23 swimmers, but he overcame the fear of jumping 27 meters off the 10th floor of an apartment building.
With a whopping eight new national records and valuable results in new events, the mood of the Korean swim team is high.
An official said, “All the athletes are full of morale. Some of them prepared for the World Championships itself, 토토사이트 but most of them prepared as a bridgehead to the Hangzhou Asian Games, and it’s going well as planned,” said an official, adding, “Their confidence has been boosted by their performance at this event.”