Despite failing to win a medal, South Korean men’s swimming took another step toward the top of the world.
The men’s swimming team of Hwang Sun-woo (20), Kim Woo-min (21), Yang Jae-hoon (25, Gangwon-do) and Lee Ho-joon (22, Daegu Metropolitan City) finished in 7:04.07 in the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay final at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships at Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall in Fukuoka, Japan, on Aug. 28.
The final ranking was sixth among the eight nations in the final, but it was the highest among Asian nations, and most importantly, the team broke the Korean record once again. The relay team had previously set a new Korean record in the preliminaries, finishing in 7:06.82.
The medley relay team was also competitive at last year’s World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, where they finished sixth in the final, including a fourth-place finish in the preliminaries. This time around, they were looking to win their first ever medal, but fell just short of a top-three finish.
Still, it was a worthy achievement.
The medley relay team broke the Korean record in Budapest last year with a time of 7:08.49 (prelims) and then 7:06.93 in the final. They continued their record-breaking streak in Fukuoka. The team clocked 7:06.82 in the preliminaries, and touched the touchpad in 7:04.07 in the final, more than two seconds faster.
With a little more effort, the team could have beaten bronze medalist Australia (7:02.13). The gap between South Korea and Australia was just 1.94 seconds.
South Korea is the only Asian nation to reach the final of the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay, setting its sights on gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games in 토토사이트 September. South Korean men’s swimming’s best result in the event was a silver medal in Hiroshima in 1994.
The gap between South Korea and its gold medal rivals is considerable. Japan, who failed to qualify, is ninth in 7:08.70 and China is 11th in 7:09.99, more than four seconds behind Korea.
Meanwhile, Great Britain caused a stir in the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay, beating swimming powerhouses USA and Australia.
Led by Matthew Richards and Tom Dean, who also won gold and silver in the men’s 200m freestyle at the Games, Great Britain led throughout the race and returned to the top of the podium for the first time in six years since 2017. Last year’s champions, the USA, took silver in 7:00.02, with Australia taking bronze in 7:02.13.