Kim Woo-min (22, Gangwon Provincial Office) got a pentagram tattooed on his left wrist after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021.
Having only competed in the 800-meter freestyle relay, a team event, in Tokyo, he dreamed of competing on the big stage and winning a medal in an individual event at Paris 2024.
He also set a specific goal to become the best Asian swimmer in the men’s freestyle middle and long distance and then enter the center of the world.
The dream is becoming a reality through systematic preparation and hard training.
Kim won the men’s 800-meter freestyle in 7:46.03 at the Hangzhou Asian Games in the swimming management event at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center pool in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on Monday.
The Chinese swimming icon, whose hometown is Hangzhou, shaved 2.33 seconds off the previous record of 7:48.36.
Kim, who is “going for the stars,” also shaved 1.63 seconds off his own South Korean record of 7:47.69.
After teaming up with Hwang Sun-woo, Yang Jae-hoon (Gangwon Province) and Lee Ho-joon (Daegu Metropolitan City) in the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay on Friday to win Korea’s first ever Asian Games team gold medal, Kim won silver in the 1,500-meter freestyle on Saturday before claiming his first individual Asian Games gold in the 800 meters.
He also had the honor of becoming the first South Korean medalist in the 800-meter freestyle event, which is being held at the Asian Games for the third time after New Delhi in 1951 and Jakarta-Palembang in 2018.
Kim has already established himself as a world-class swimmer in the 400-meter freestyle.
At the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka in July, he broke his own personal record in the men’s 400m freestyle in both the preliminaries (3:44.50) and final (3:43.92) to finish in the top five in the world.
Kim, who finished sixth in 3:45.64 at Budapest last year, improved his time by 1.72 seconds in less than a year and moved up one spot to fifth on the World Championships personal best list.
Kim was the only Asian swimmer to reach the final of the men’s 400-meter freestyle at both last year’s and this year’s World Championships.
In the men’s 800-meter freestyle, Park set a new Korean record at the World Championships in July with a time of 7:47.69, 2.24 seconds off the 7:49.93 set by Park at the London Olympics in August 2012.
Park’s 800-meter freestyle time is an “800-meter leg time,” measured during the 1,500-meter race at the 2012 London Olympics. In an official 800-meter race, it’s likely that Park would have lowered his time even further.
However, compared to the times of current athletes, Kim Woo-min is already among the best in Asia.
In Hangzhou, Kim solidified his status as the best 800-meter freestyle swimmer.
Although his second-place finish in the 1,500-meter freestyle ended his chances of becoming the first Korean swimmer to win a quadruple Asian Games title, he is likely to become the third Korean swimmer to win a triple, joining Choi Yun-hee at New Delhi 1982 and Park Tae-hwan at Doha 2006 and Guangzhou 2010.
If he can shake off the physical strain and reach the top of the podium in the 400-meter freestyle on Monday, he will be able to wear the “Asian Games triple” medal and prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which begin next July. 토토사이트