Korean swimmer Hwang Sun-woo is one to watch in Tokyo 2020

A young swimmer from Korea has caught the eye of world governing body FINA and Tokyo 2020 as the countdown continues to next year’s Olympic Games.

Hwang Sun-woo, 17, has stormed into the record books and become the fastest junior swimmer in the world, clocking 1.45:92 in the men’s 200m freestyle.

Hwang put on a scintillating performance at the 2020 Korean National Team Trials. The teen not only won both events in which he competed – the men’s 100m and 200m freestyle – but also created history in the process.

He established new national records in the 100m as well as becoming the fastest junior swimmer in the world in the 200m freestyle – with new personal bests in both events.

Hwang’s record of 48.25 in the 100m freestyle broke the previous national record of 48.42, set by Olympic legend Park Tae-hwan six years ago.

What is more outstanding is his result in the 200m freestyle. Although his record of 1:45.92 fell slightly short of the current national record of 1:44.80 – also set by Park – Hwang ranked as the seventh fastest man in Asia of all-time, either senior or junior.

When narrowed down to his age level – 17-18 years – Hwang’s record is even more exceptional as he beat Michael Phelps’ 2003 record of 1:45:99.

After such a successful performance at the National Team Trials, Hwang told the Korea Swimming Federation that he had a bigger goal for the Olympics next year.

“Last year my goal was to compete at Tokyo 2020,” Hwang explained, “but now it is changed to go further, like semi-finals, or the final.”

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