South Korean swimming sensation Hwang Sun-woo, 18, finished second in men’s 100-meter breaststroke at the Jeju Halla Cup National Swimming Championships held at Jeju Sports Complex on Tuesday, with a time of 1:03:73.
Hwang finished first in the first group of the finals but Cho Hyun-jae, 18, in the second group recorded 1:02:96, placing Hwang in the second place. It is about 4 seconds behind the Korean record (59:65) set by Jo Seong-jae in the national team selection match held in May this year.
It was the first time that Hwang, who recently included individual medley (IM) in his main 100-meter, 200-meter events, competed in a breaststroke event. Developing interest in individual medley after setting a Korean record (1:58:04) in men’s IM 200-meter event at the Korean National Sports Festival last month, Hwang decided to compete in a breaststroke event, which is considered his weakest point in IM, to hone his breaststroke skills. It was a practice in an actual competition.
“I didn’t prepare much nor had a specific goal before competing in the breaststroke event. I only wanted to finish first or second and it feels good to achieve that goal,” Hwang said. “Seeing myself competing in a breaststroke event makes me smile. Swimming is fun.”
Hwang is trying to keep in shape in preparation for the FINA World Swimming Championships to be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Dec. 16. He will be competing in freestyle 100-meter, 200-meter, and IM 100-meter events. On Dec. 24, Hwang will compete in 200-meter freestyle, which is his main event. It will also be Hwang’s last domestic competition as a high school swimmer. “I haven’t been training for this competition so I don’t expect good result this time,” Hwang said. “But I’ll do my best since it is the last competition competing as a high school swimmer.”
Bae-Jung Kim firstname.lastname@example.org