Kim Woo-min (22-Gangwon Provincial Office) said, his expression as bright as his medal.
Kim is already on track to win a triple Asian Games title, a feat only accomplished by former South Korean swimming icons Choi Yun-hee and Park Tae-hwan.
Kim was the first to touch the touchpad in the men’s 800m freestyle final of the swimming management event at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on Monday, setting a new meet record of 7:46.03.
The previous record was 7:48.36 set by Sun Yang (CHN) at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games.
Kim also shaved 1.66 seconds off the South Korean record of 7:47.69 that he set at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka last July.
The joy of breaking Sun Yang’s record was doubled in Hangzhou, Sun Yang’s hometown.
It was also a thrill to overpower Li Feiwei (CHN) in the 800m freestyle after she had pipped him in the 1,500m freestyle.
Li Peiwei, who finished second in the 800-meter freestyle, clocked 7:49.90, 3.87 seconds slower than Kim.
Kim will compete in the preliminaries and finals of her main event, the 400-meter freestyle, on the final day of business events on Sept. 29. If he wins that event, he will win a triple Asian Games swimming title, something only Choi Yun-hee and Park Tae-hwan have accomplished for Korea.
“Honestly, I want to win the triple,” Kim said, adding, “The 400-meter freestyle is my favorite event and the one I’m most confident in. I will finish this competition as well as I can.”
Kim’s first gold medal of the Games came in the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay, a team event.
His time of 1:44.50 was the fastest of the 32 swimmers in the final.
“I competed in the relay before the individual events and had a good time, so my confidence grew,” Kim said. “With that confidence, I competed in the individual events and won one gold and one silver medal. I’m proud of myself for holding on for so long.”
Although he said he was “satisfied” with his second-place finish in the 1,500 meters, he was actually looking for gold in the 800 meters.
“I failed to control my pace in the 1,500 meters,” Kim said. I watched the video of the Fukuoka World Championships, where I set the Korean record in the 800-meter freestyle for the first time, and tried to regain my rhythm,” Kim said.
On the day, Kim set a new Korean record of 7:47.69, 1.63 seconds faster than the time he set at the World Championships in July.
“As much as I wanted the gold medal, I was more than happy to break the record,” Kim said, “and it feels even better to break Sun Yang’s meet record.”
The simultaneous emergence of Hwang, Kim, Woo-min, and Lee marked a renaissance for Korean swimming.
By the end of the day, the Korean swimming program had won five gold, four silver, and nine bronze medals, its best Asian Games result since Guangzhou 2010 (four gold, three silver, and six bronze).
Kim Woo-min won his fifth gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle.
He also won a double with Hwang Sun-woo, becoming the first Korean to win two gold medals at an Asian Games.
“The momentum of Korean swimming is really good right now,” said Kim Woo-min. Many athletes are improving their records, so we are all motivated and encouraged by each other,” said Kim. “It is an honor to make new history with my teammates like Hwang Sun-woo.”
In his final event at the Asian Games, the 400-meter freestyle, Kim Woo-min isn’t just thinking about gold.
He will take the start line on Monday with the goal of shaving nearly a second off his personal best of 3:43.92 and breaking into the 3:42s.
“I really want to break into the 3:42s and win the triple,” Kim said, setting two goals for the final day of competition. 스포츠토토