Go to contents

Top Swimmer to Test Condition at Donga Meet

Posted April. 16, 2008 03:26,   


“Time is running out, but I have to do my best to respond to public support.”

The country’s top swimmer Park Tae-hwan will compete at the 80th Donga Swimming Championships in Ulsan ahead of the Beijing Summer Olympics. He will take part in the 400-meters Friday and the 200-meter freestyle Sunday.

Park is a gold medal hopeful who set the Asian records in the 400-meter freestyle (3:44:30) and 200-meter freestyle (1:46:73) in last year’s FINA World Championships in Melbourne, Australia.

He is not in top form, so the Ulsan competition is seen as an opportunity to test his condition. After winning the gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle in the world championships last year, he got lax over training due to his skyrocketing popularity.

Park appeared on commercials and took part in various events, but eventually resumed hardcore training at the end of February under national swimming coach Roh Min-sang, his mentor.

Gold medal hopefuls set one-year goals over a four-year cycle. A year before the Olympics, they divide the year into two six-month cycles and strive to achieve peak performance by adapting to a periodical program.

In Park’s case, he is a month behind schedule since he began training at the end of February. The Olympic opening ceremony is August 8.

Coach Roh is making Park swim 15,000 meters a day and raise his stamina through weight training and stretching. Roh said he is trying to make Park swim his best, though the swimmer is a bit late.

“To be honest, it is a little bit late for him to hope for a gold medal,” Roh said. “But as Tae-hwan is outstanding and smart, I believe he can get a good result if he does his best.”