SEOUL - After a mere five days of rest, South Korean swimmer Hwang Sun-woo is gearing up for a demanding season, including the national team trials, world championships, and the Olympics.
According to a new release by Yonhap News Agency, Hwang announced his readiness to dive back into training during a ceremony where he was honored for his achievements at the recent Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. "I've given myself more than enough rest with those five days," Hwang stated, adding that he will begin training for the upcoming national team trials the following day.
Hwang has had a remarkable season thus far, most recently setting a new national record in the men's 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:44.40 at the Asian Games. Prior to that, he secured a bronze medal in the same event at the world championships held in Fukuoka, Japan, at the end of July.
The swimmer also participated in the National Sports Festival earlier this month, where he won five gold medals and was named the competition's Most Valuable Player for the third consecutive year. Despite facing a bout of food poisoning, Hwang described his five-day break as "longer than usual" and stated he had managed to regain weight and muscle during his time off.
With an established record, Hwang is already looking ahead to future competitions. He has already qualified for both the world championships and the Olympics, meeting the "A" standard times in both the 100m and 200m freestyle events. For the world championships, the required times are 48.51 seconds for the 100m and 1:47.06 for the 200m. For the Olympics, the qualifying times are 48.34 seconds in the 100m and 1:46.26 in the 200m.
Hwang aims to continue his streak of medal wins at the world championships in Doha and hopes to join Park Tae-hwan as the only South Korean swimmers to win an Olympic medal. "Luck will only find people who are prepared. And I want to be one of those people in Paris," he remarked.
In his main event, the 200m freestyle, Hwang has a specific goal in mind: breaking into the 1:43 time range. "Once you get over the hump, you can shatter records in swimming. I will try to get into the 1:43 range next year," he said.