Hwang Seon-woo (19, Gangwon Provincial Office), the “hope of Korean swimming,” won the gold medal at the Short Course World Championships. The joy was doubled by breaking the tournament record and the Asian record.
Hwang Seon-woo won the gold medal in the men’s 200m freestyle final at the 2022 FINA (World Swimming Federation) Short Course World Swimming Championships held at the Sports and Aquatics Center in Melbourne, Australia on the afternoon of the 18th with a record of 1:39:72.
Even though it is a short course (25m) event rather than a long course (50m), it is meaningful because it is a medal won by overcoming competition with prominent players. Among the players who made it to the finals, only Hwang Seon-woo was the only one who did not exceed 1 minute and 40 seconds.
There were twists and turns, but Hwang Seon-woo, who did not give up, did not
go smoothly until he reached the finals. In the 200m preliminaries, Hwang Seon-woo, who recorded a touchpad with a time of 1:42:44, was 8th out of 46 athletes and struggled to secure a ticket to the finals. Being assigned to lane 8 in the finals was not welcome news for Hwang Seon-woo. Because he had difficulty avoiding the resistance of the water.
In addition, the fact that he was not in 100% physical condition due to an injury to his right middle finger during the qualifying round was also an unsettling factor. After the finals were over, the situation at the time was conveyed. In many ways, Hwang Seon-woo had to face the finals under adverse conditions. However, Hwang Seon-woo calmly prepared for the race with an ‘unbreakable mind’.
It went smoothly from the start. Hwang Seon-woo, who passed the first 25m section in 10.83 seconds, competed for the lead with ‘rival’ David Popovic (Romania) who competed in the 7th lane. In particular, after passing the 100m section, he picked up speed and the gap widened further. At one time, he showed a similar pace to Germany’s Paul Biedermann (2009, 1:39:37), the world record holder.
Hwang Seon-woo, who was already certain of winning the gold medal even before the game was over, was the first to hit the touchpad and confirmed first place. Several players congratulated him, including Popovich (1:40:79), who came second after Hwang Seon-woo.
Hwang Seon-woo, who also won the gold medal in the men’s 200m at the Abu Dhabi Games in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last year, achieved his second consecutive victory. And that’s not all. In 2018, in Hangzhou, China, Danas Lapsis (Lithuania) set a record (1:40:95), and even changed his own Korean and Asian records. 안전놀이터
Prior to the men’s 200m, Hwang Seon-woo started on the 16th in the men’s relay 800m final. On this day, as his first swimmer, he completed his mission with a time of 1 minute 40 seconds 99. It was a new Korean and Asian record (previous 2016 Park Tae-hwan, 1:41:03). The record of the first swimmer competing in the team event is recognized as an individual record for the same stroke and distance.
On this day, the national team set a new Korean record with a time of 6:49:67, although it did not qualify for a medal. Kim Woo-min (21, Gangwon-do Office), Lee Ho-jun (21, Daegu Metropolitan City Office), and Yang Jae-hoon (24, Gangwon-do Office), who succeeded Hwang Seon-woo, ran a successful race.
Hwang Seon-woo, who continued the flow in the team event, clearly announced his presence in the men’s 200m. The existing 200m personal best record was held in Doha, Qatar in October of last year at the 3rd meeting of the FINA Management World Cup Series (1:41:17), but this time was shortened by more than one second.
Hwang Seon-woo, who achieved more than a gold medal, finished the last race of 2022 in a good mood. On the afternoon of the 20th, he took a breather after returning home with the management team. Attention is focusing on whether he will be able to continue his current upward trend in the new year.