The South Korean men’s 800-meter freestyle relay team of Hwang Sun-woo (20), Kim Woo-min (21), Yang Jae-hoon (25, Gangwon-do) and Lee Ho-joon (22, Daegu Metropolitan City) set a new Korean record and advanced to their second consecutive World Championships final.
South Korea qualified for the eight-team final of the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships on Monday at Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall in Fukuoka, Japan, with a time of 7:06.82, good for sixth place out of 17 teams.
Korea’s time of 7:06.82 in today’s preliminaries was 0.11 seconds better than the national record of 7:06.93 set in the final of last year’s Budapest Games.
The South Koreans finished third in their heat on lane 6. They finished sixth overall.
For now, the Korean men’s 800-meter freestyle relay team accomplished its primary goal of reaching the World Championships final for the second consecutive year.
Hwang Sun-woo and the Golden Generation have their sights set higher.
In the final at 9:40 p.m., South Korea will look to win its first ever medal in a World Championships team event.
In the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay at last year’s Budapest Games, the Koreans made waves by finishing fourth in the preliminaries before finishing a career-best sixth in the final.
The Koreans twice broke the national record in that event, winning the prelims in 7:08.49 and the final in 7:06.93.
In the Fukuoka qualifier, they broke the Korean record again.
Hwang Sun-woo, Kim Woo-min, and Lee Ho-joon teamed up again after last year, while Yang Jae-hoon replaced Lee Yoo-yeon in the medley relay in Fukuoka.
The first swimmer of the day, Hwang Sun-woo, finished sixth in his heat with a time of 1:47.29 over 200 meters, but Kim Woo-min moved up to third and Yang Jae-hoon touched the touchpad in fourth. Lee Ho-joon stepped up the pace in the final event to give South Korea third in the group and sixth overall.
Australia, which won the 2019 Gwangju Games, topped qualifying in 7:04.37, while defending champion USA was second in 7:06.07.
Great Britain, the favorite, was fourth in 7:06.20, while Italy qualified for the final in 7:06.12 (third), just 0.08 seconds ahead of Great Britain.
France also finished better than South Korea with a time of 7:06.40 (5th).
South Korea was the only Asian team to reach the final.
Japan finished ninth in 7:08.70 and China finished 11th in 7:09.99.
Even if they fail to medal at the World Championships in Fukuoka, the Korean men’s relay team can still hope to win gold at the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Korea’s previous best result at an Asian Games was a silver medal in the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay at the 1994 Hiroshima Games (Ji Sang-jun, Woo Chul, Won Ki Woo, and Bang Seung-hoon).
They will be looking for their first gold medal in the event at the Hangzhou Asian Games, which begin in September.
Even before the Fukuoka World Championships, Hwang and the Golden Generation were convinced that this would be a good test of their gold medal potential at the Hangzhou Asian Games.
“If you look at the individual times of the Korean relay members and the Chinese 200-meter freestyle members, we’re about 1.5 seconds behind the total of the four,” Hwang said, 먹튀검증토토사이트 adding, “If we can cut 0.5 seconds per swimmer, we can win the gold medal in Hangzhou.”
“We’re training with the 800-meter freestyle relay team in a good mood right now. If we continue to have this atmosphere and rely on each other, we can achieve our goals such as gold at the Asian Games.”
“When we first heard that Korea Swimming was aiming for gold in the 800-meter freestyle relay at the Asian Games, the swimmers were not convinced,” said Lee Ho-joon, “but as we improved as individuals and grew together as a team, it became possible. “It’s true that the Chinese swimmers are doing well, but things happen in sports,” he said, adding that they were aiming for gold at the Asian Games.
As the only Asian team to reach the final of the World Championships in Fukuoka, their confidence grew.