Go to contents

Champion Swimmer `Feeling Burdened but Confident`

Posted July. 17, 2009 07:37,   


Champion swimmer Park Tae-hwan, 20, is in a quite different mood from a year ago.

Before the Beijing Olympics last year, an event in which he won Korea’s first swimming gold medal, he was full of confidence. Yet in an interview around 10 days before the World Swimming Championships Rome this year, he spoke of a “heavy burden.”

Park’s coach Roh Min-sang, said, “He needs more time to grow up. So please encourage him.” Roh added that Park has had insufficient time to practice in addition to his heavy psychological pressure.

“Our goal is to win a gold medal in next year’s Asian Games in Guangzhou (China) and the London Summer Olympics in 2012,” the coach said, suggesting that while Park will do his best in the upcoming Rome championship, he will not be too affected by the result.

Park trained a bit at the University of Southern California in January and April in Los Angeles. Though he rejoined the Korean national swim team June 1, it was simply too difficult to enhance his condition to the same level he had achieved at the Beijing Olympics.

“My winning of an Olympic gold medal has put big pressure on me this time,” Park said.

“I recently had a dream in which I was almost killed by an anaconda. After that, my training got better. I will do my best to meet my fans’ expectations.”

Park will leave for Italy today while the rest of the national team will depart Sunday.