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Swimmer Park Wins Silver at Pan Pacific Championships

Posted August. 20, 2010 13:18,   


Swimmer Park Tae-hwan won a silver medal Wednesday at the men’s 200-meter freestyle at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Irvine, California.

The 21-year-old clocked in at 1:46.27 to finish second after Ryan Lochte (1:45.30) of the U.S., Park’s best time since winning the silver in the event at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

Founded by four swimming powers in the Pacific Rim -- Canada, the U.S., Australia and Japan -- the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships has been expanded to include top swimmers from Korea, China and Europe.

Park’s latest finish was just 1.42 seconds behind his personal best and Asian record of 1:44.85. It was also 0.41 of a second faster than his 1:46.68 finish at last year`s World Swimming Championships in Rome and the sixth fastest in the world this season.

Showing heightened confidence after completing three months of training in Australia, he has been improving ahead of the upcoming Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, in November. After finishing the 200 meters, he said, “I raced well in the early stage but fell behind later. But I did my best without regret.”

Park, however, finished eighth among 25 contestants in the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle, which followed the 200 meters. Starting off in the last group, he fell behind from the beginning and finished with a time of 15:13.91.

He was 15.01 seconds behind Chinese rival Zhang Lin (14:58.90) and 18.88 seconds behind his personal best of 14:55:03, validating fears over competing in both races on the same day. He was the only swimmer who participated in both the 200- and 1,500 meters that day.

“It seems I had a tough time physically, “he said after the race.

He will compete in the 400-meter freestyle Saturday.