PHOENIX, Arizona, July 22. TAE Hwan Park didn’t race at the world championships last year, so the Korean is itching to step up against some of the world’s best in 2014. That will happen in September at the Asian Games, where China’s Sun Yang will be his biggest rival in the middle distance and distance freestyle events.
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Last week at the Korean nationals, Park put up some fast swims, the best one being the 200 freestyle. Park’s time of 1:45.25 makes him the fastest swimmer in the world this year in the event and is just a few tenths slower than his lifetime best of 1:44.80. What makes that 1:45.25 so exciting is he did it without much competition, beating the field by five and a half seconds. I can’t wait to see how much faster he goes at the Asian Games in front of a home crowd in Incheon and next to Sun in the final.
At the 2010 Asian Games, Park won the 200 and 400 freestyles ahead of Sun Yang, though Sun got the better of him in the 1500. We could see these two on the medal podium a lot, and thanks to Tae Hwan’s great 200 freestyle, the stakes have gotten even higher.
Congratulations, Tae Hwan Park! You’ve won the Speedo Performance of the Week.