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Park Tae-hwan Wins Gold Medal in 800m Freestyle Relay

Posted October. 11, 2007 03:47,   


Park Tae-hwan (Seoul, Kyonggi High School), known as “Marine Boy,” won a come-from-behind gold medal in the 800m freestyle relay at a boys’ high school meet yesterday.

Park was the last swimmer in the relay, held at the Yeomju Swimming Pool in Gwangju. His team was two meters behind the Chungbuk team when he entered the water, but Park made up the deficit for the win.

Park started to catch up with his counterpart at 5’18’21’’ and quickly went ahead when he was around 700m from the starting point. When he finished his lap, he was about 20m ahead of his opponent. Seoul came in first with a time of 7’40’34’’; Chungbuk came in second with a time of 7’49’56”.

Park said after the competition, “I’m happy my team won. I’m getting good vibes from the Gwangju swimming pool. I made a lot of preparations for this event.”

Park, who is good at long-distance events, is aiming to improve his record in short distance events. He will compete in the boys 200m freestyle for high school swimmers today. He explained why he is exerting effort to improve his record in short distance events, saying, “I need more speed even though my specialty is long distance events.” He added, “I’m working very hard for the Beijing Olympics. Winning a gold medal in the Olympics is my dream. I want to write a new chapter in the history of Korean swimming.”

He thinks that there is less interest in swimming among the public these days, and he hopes that people will continue to be interested in swimming even after the 2008 Olympic Games.

bluesky@donga.com hic@donga.com