South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan has claimed an encouraging victory in a tune-up meet for next month's world championships.
Park won the 400m freestyle title at the Sette Colli Trophy at Stadio del Nuoto in Rome on Friday (local time), with a time of 3:44.54.
This is the fifth-best 400m freestyle time of 2017. Park also owns the fourth-fastest time in the distance this year with 3:44.38.
|South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan listens to a question during a press conference in Seoul on June 16, 2017. (Yonhap)|
Park is gearing up for the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest starting July 23. He set up a training camp in Rome earlier this month. He will make his first world championships appearance since 2011 in Shanghai, where he won the second of his two world titles in the 400m freestyle.
In his latest victory, Park beat out two 400m freestyle medalists from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Gabriele Detti of Italy, who won bronze in Rio, finished second to Park in 3:45.88, while the Olympic champion Mack Horton, from Australia, finished third this time in 3:47.58.
Park was the fastest after the first 50m, but Detti overtook him at the next turn. Park stayed in second place but charged out in front again at the 250m turn. He didn't relinquish his lead the rest of the way.
Sun Yang of China owns the fastest 400m freestyle time this year at 3:42.16.
In Rome, Park is scheduled to compete in the 200m freestyle on Saturday and 100m freestyle on Sunday. (Yonhap)