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Swimmer Park Praises Phelps` Speed in Win

Posted August. 13, 2008 07:05,   


“I just sighed.”

Park Tae-hwan said this yesterday after winning the silver medal in the 200-meter freestyle in the Beijing Olympics. He set the Asian record of 1:44:85 in the event, but lost to Michael Phelps of the United States, who won the gold with a world record time of 1:42:96.

Park said he is far from Phelps` ability. Though he lost, he said Phelps will be a good competitor for him, adding, “I want to better compete against him in the London Olympics in four years.

Park lost but still showed a stellar performance. When asked what was different in winning the gold and silver, he said, “I didn’t hear the Korean national anthem.” He thanked his colleagues who trained hard at the athletes village in Seoul with him.

Here are excerpts of Park`s interview.

▽ Winning the silver medal

Phelps was really great. After the meet, I said I really congratulate you on setting the world record. I hope he can win eight gold medals in the Olympics. I personally am satisfied with setting the Asian record.

▽ Benchmarking Phelps

Phelps is excellent in accelerating after making a turn. I am not that good. I will focus on training my lower body to make a fast and smooth turn. I wish I were taller (Park is 183 centimeters). I thank my parents for making me who I am today.

▽ His strategy for the 200 meters

I just thought about doing my best. I tried to chase Phelps next to me. Since I couldn’t control my pace, I just focused on breaking my record.

▽ His remaining goal

I will do my best in the 1,500 meter freestyle Sunday and in four years, I want to do well against Phelps in the London Olympics.