Park Tae-hwan reaches 200m freestyle final at swimming worlds

By Alex Park
  • Published : Jul 25, 2017 - 09:32
  • Updated : Jul 25, 2017 - 09:32

South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan has reached the men's 200m freestyle final at the ongoing world championships.

Park squeezed into the final by ranking eighth overall in the semifinals with a season-best time of 1:46.28 at the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships at Danube Arena in Budapest, Hungary, on Monday (local time).

Only the top eight from the two semifinal groups got into the final, which will take place Tuesday at the same venue.

Park ranked fourth in the first group, and had to wait for the second group's results to see if he'd get a crack at a medal. Park ended up edging out Kacper Majchrzak of Poland by 0.12 second for the eighth spot.

Earlier Monday, Park ranked 14th among 16 qualifiers for the semifinals at 1:47.11.

Park's previous season-best was 1:46.71.

Duncan Scott of Britain topped the semifinals in 1:45.16, two-hundredth of a second faster than fellow Briton, James Guy. Sun Yang of China, the reigning Olympic 200m champion, was third overall in 1:45.24.

Sun owns the fastest 200m freestyle time this season with 1:44.91.

The 200m is Park's second event at these world championships. He finished fourth in the 400m freestyle final on Sunday.

Park, 27, won 400m world titles in 2007 and 2011, and picked up a bronze in the 200m free at the 2007 event. This is Park's first world championships appearance since 2011 in Shanghai.

Park's personal best in the 200m free is 1:44.80, which he clocked in winning the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games gold medal.

In this Associated Press photo, Park Tae-hwan of South Korea competes in the men's 200m freestyle heats at the FINA World Aquatics Championships at Danube Arena in Budapest, Hungary, on July 24, 2017. (Yonhap)
Earlier Monday in the same pool, South Korean An Se-hyeon made a piece of national history in the women's 100m butterfly.

An broke her own South Korean record by 0.08 second to finish fifth in 57.07 seconds. She'd earlier set a national record with 57.15 seconds in Sunday's semifinals.

An ended 0.70 second out of a medal, but still posted the best world championships finish by a South Korean female in any event. Lee Nam-eun held the previous record with an eighth-place finish in the women's 50m backstroke at the 2005 world championships in Montreal.

Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden captured her fourth consecutive world title in a competition record time of 55.53 seconds, followed by Emma McKeon of Australia in 56.18 and Kelsi Worrell of the United States in 56.37.

Another South Korean swimmer, Kim Seo-yeong, finished sixth in the women's 200m individual medley in 2:10.40, 3.40 seconds behind the champion, Katinka Hosszu of Hungary. (Yonhap)