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Young swimmer determined to learn from shortcomings

INCHEON -- Despite breaking a national record and setting new standards for South Korean swimmers at the recent world championships, youngster Kim Seo-yeong said she has a lot of regrets from her performance.

But the 23-year-old isn't about to dwell on past mistakes. Rather, she's determined to learn from her shortcomings.
South Korean swimmer Kim Seo-yeong speaks to reporters at Incheon International Airport on Aug. 1, 2017. (Yonhap)
South Korean swimmer Kim Seo-yeong speaks to reporters at Incheon International Airport on Aug. 1, 2017. (Yonhap)
Kim and the rest of the national swimming team returned home from the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Kim put together a solid performance finishing sixth in the women's 200m individual medley in 2:10.40. She's the first South Korean, male or female, to reach an individual medley final at the worlds.

She set a new national record in the 200m individual medley during the semifinals, with a time of 2:09.86.

Kim said she was pleased with her world championships overall, though missing the 400m individual medley final still gnawed at her. But she still chose to look on the brighter side.

"I felt there is a lot of room for improvement, especially with my conditioning," Kim told reporters at Incheon International Airport. "But at the same time, I am confident I can learn from this experience and continue to grow. Hopefully, I'll be able to do better in future races."

While South Korea was shut out of medals, it was Kim and her close friend, An Se-hyeon, that gave much hope to a nation hungry for new swimming heroes. An finished fourth in the 200m butterfly, the highest placement by a South Korean woman at a major international competition, and fifth in the 100m fly. She set national records in both races.

Kim said she'd like to keep growing with An and usher in a better future for South Korean swimming.

"We're close friends, and it was great that both of us did well at the same world championships," Kim said. "If we can keep pulling each other and do well at the Tokyo Olympics (in 2020), it'll be so meaningful for us." (Yonhap)