Hwang Sun-woo makes up for bronze medal disappointment with historic first gold for ‘golden generation’ 800m relay team

Hwang Sun-woo (Gangwon-do Province) had to settle for bronze in the men’s 100-meter freestyle after being edged out by Fan Zhan-li (CHN), but his chance to shake off the disappointment came soon after.

Hwang finished third in the men’s 100m freestyle with a time of 48.04 seconds at the 19th Asian Games (AG) at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Pool on Thursday (June 24) in Hangzhou, China. It was the first medal for Korean swimming in the men’s 100-meter freestyle in 13 years since Park Tae-hwan won gold at the 2010 Guangzhou AG.

Rival China’s Fan Zhanle won gold in an Asian record time of 46.97 seconds. Wang Haoyu (CHN) finished second in 48.02. Hwang Sun-woo was disappointed not only with the color of his medal, but also with his time, which was well below his personal best (47.56). “I’m disappointed with my time,” he told reporters after the race.

Hwang completed the 50 meters in 23.23 seconds, while Pan Zanler rounded the return point in a dominant 22.45 seconds and gradually opened up a gap to be the first to touch the touchpad.

Hwang Sun-woo, who won a bronze medal in his first AG event, said that Panzaner’s 46-second win made him think, “He’s really good.” “I think I’ll have to train harder to keep up,” he said. “It’s a shame that the 100 meters is rarely held on the first day. I need to try to improve my personal best,” he chastised himself.

Despite the loss, Hwang is not disappointed and is ready for the ‘next’. He will team up with Lee Ho-joon (22, Daegu Metropolitan Government), Kim Woo-min (22, Gangwon Provincial Government) and Yang Jae-hoon (25, Gangwon Provincial Government) to win gold in the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay. If they achieve their goal, it will be the first relay gold medal in Korean swimming history.

The four have been nicknamed the “Golden Generation. They reached back-to-back World Championships finals in Budapest in 2022 and Fukuoka, Japan, in July. At the World Championships in July, they broke the Korean record (7:04.07) set a year earlier.

“At the World Championships, my performance as the first runner was not good due to poor physical condition, but at the Hangzhou Asian Games, the 800-meter freestyle relay will be organized earlier in the schedule, so I think I can manage my physical fitness well,” said Hwang Sun-woo at the AG team signing ceremony, adding, “I am confident that I can write a Korean record again.” “We are not only looking to break the Korean record, but also the Asian record held by Japan (7:02.26),” said Lee.메이저놀이터

The biggest competition will come from the host nation, China. Once again, it’s the hosts who are the biggest rivals. At the Chinese Swimming Championships in Hangzhou in May, Fei Liwei, Hong Jinquan, Fan Zhanle, and Wang Shun finished the backstroke race in 7:07.29. They are expected to improve on that time at this meet. “The Chinese swimmers have improved a lot recently, especially in the freestyle,” said Lee. They may feel pressure because it’s their home, but our swimmers have gotten used to the atmosphere,” said Lee.

Hwang Sun-woo was disappointed to finish third in the 100m on Thursday, but said, “I prepared a lot with my teammates. We are all in good shape and if we focus on the race well, we will achieve our desired goal.”

The first heat of the men’s 800m freestyle relay will take place at 12:35 p.m. on Sunday.

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