Hwang Sun-woo (20-Gangwon Metropolitan Government) and Woo Sang-hyuk (27-Yongin City Hall) showed off their world-class skills at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games. The next time they’ll really spread their wings is at the Paris Olympics next July.
Hwang Sun-woo won gold in his main event, the 200-meter freestyle, in a meet record time of 1:44.40. The bronze medalist at the Fukuoka World Championships in July confirmed his status as the fastest Asian swimmer. He came within 0.01 seconds of the Asian record of 1:44.39 set by China’s Sun Yang in 2017. The 2-meter-tall “giant” is on the verge of being overtaken by the 1-meter-87-centimeter Hwang Sun-woo. “I have a lot of races left,” said Huang. If I continue to reduce my time before the Olympics, I will be able to break the record,” said Huang.
On the world stage, the men’s 200-meter freestyle is the “Spring and Autumn Warring States Period. A single second can make the difference between a different medal color or no podium. For now, the world record (1:42.97) is held by the ‘genius’ David Popovic (ROM). Popovic’s best time this season is 1:44.70, just 0.30 seconds slower than Hwang’s, but if he breaks out of his slump, he’ll be the number one target.
World Championships gold and silver medalists Mashu Richards (1:44.30) and Tom Dean (Great Britain – 1:44.32), as well as Asian Games silver medalist Fan Zhanle (China – 1:44.65), will also threaten Hwang in Paris. With the exception of Dean, who is 23, they are all either the same age or one year younger than Hwang.
“A few years ago, a time in the 1:44s was enough to get a medal, but now there are so many swimmers who can do it that you can’t relax,” said Hwang. “But I’m glad that my 200m time, which has been stagnant for the past two years, is slowly improving again. I think I need to focus on swimming and continue to improve my time until the Paris Olympics.”
Hwang emerged as a surprise star at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago as an 18-year-old. In the men’s 100-meter freestyle semifinals (47.56), he broke the Asian and world junior records at the time. In the 200-meter freestyle, he became the first South Korean to reach an Olympic final in nine years after Park Tae-hwan, sprinting into first place at the 150-meter mark. He finished seventh, but the race made a statement.
Paris will be his second Olympics in three years. If Tokyo was a showcase for the big boys, Paris will be his coronation to the top of the world. “My goal for next year is to break 1:43,” he says. “If I reach that time, I think an Olympic medal will follow,” he reiterated.
Woo Sang-hyuk cleared 2.33 meters to take silver in the men’s high jump. It was his second consecutive silver medal after winning in Jakarta-Palembang in 2018. At the same time, he became only the second athlete in history to win the men’s high jump at an Asian Games without clearing 2.33 meters. The first was Zhang Guowei (CHN) at Incheon nine years ago. Then, as now, gold went to Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT), who cleared 2.35 meters. 토토사이트
Woo Sang-hyuk is a “pioneer” who has made history in Korean athletics. At the Tokyo Olympics, he jumped 2.35 meters and finished fourth in the world. He showed the world that South Korea has athletes who can approach the top of the world. At this year’s World Athletics Diamond League Finals, he again jumped over 2.35 meters and became the first Korean to win. But if he wants to get to the “top,” not the “top” of the world, he’ll have to get past Barshim first. Barshim is the world’s best active jumper. He won gold at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago.
The standard for the Paris Olympics is 2.33 meters. The record will be recognized from July 1 this year to June 30 next year. Woo has already qualified for the Olympics. The disappointment of missing out on the gold medal at the Asian Games has given him a new drive to win gold at the Olympics. “The most important competition for me is the Paris Olympics,” he emphasized after each of his good performances at international competitions. “Two years ago in Tokyo, I was one step short of a medal. In Paris, his ultimate goal is to secure a spot on the podium, preferably the top spot.
“In Paris, I want to make Jean-Marco Tambéry (ITA) and Barshim scare me,” Woo said. Tambéry finished first at the World Championships in Budapest. Together with Barshim, they are the favorites for gold. For Woo, who will have to face them, an Asian Games silver medal is a process, not an outcome. He plans to fly the Korean flag over Paris next July.