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Park to compete in 100m at world championships

Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan will enter the men’s 100-meter freestyle at next month’s world championships, his management company said Tuesday.

The sports division at SK Telecom said Park has added the 100m to his usual repertoire of the 200m and 400m freestyle events for the world championships in Shanghai, China, next month.

It will be Park’s third world championships. Park has never competed in the 100m freestyle at worlds or at the Olympics, though he did win the Guangzhou Asian Games gold in that distance last November.

SK Telecom said Park was buoyed by his recent run in the 100m.

At the Santa Clara International Grand Prix in California last weekend, Park edged the American great Michael Phelps to take the 100m crown at 48.92 seconds.

In Guangzhou, Park had come in at 48.70.

“At the grand prix and the Asian Games, Park posted better times than the world championship qualifying time of 49.23 seconds,” his management said in a statement. “And Park’s coach Michael Bohl granted his wish to compete in the 100m.”

In previous worlds, Park has raced in the 200m, 400m and 1,500m freestyle and won the 400m title at the 2009 championships.

He has stopped competing in the 1,500 since the Asian Games to focus on short-distance events.

Park is scheduled to return to Brisbane, Australia, on Tuesday to rejoin Bohl. He plans to travel to Shanghai on July 17.

The world championships start on July 16 with diving, and Park’s first event will be the 400m on July 24, followed by the 200m on the following day and the 100m on July 27. 

(Yonhap News)