Kim Woo-min hit the touch pad in 3 minutes 44.36 seconds in the men’s 400m freestyle swimming final at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games held at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center in Zhejiang Province, China on the 28th, winning his third personal gold medal in this competition.
The triple gold medal, which had been a strong possibility even before the competition, finally became a reality. Among the Korean swimming teams in history, the ones who won three gold medals in a single event at the Asian Games are Choi Yun-hee at the 1982 New Delhi Games (100m backstroke, 200m backstroke, 200m individual medley), the 2006 Doha Games (200m, 400m, 1500m freestyle), and the 2010 Guangzhou Games. (100m, 200m, 400m freestyle) was the only Tae-hwan Park who won three gold medals in a row. Kim Woo-min’s name was added to that legendary record in 2023.
There are not just many titles. Kim Woo-min won the 800m freestyle gold medal on the 28th with a time of 7 minutes, 46.03 seconds, at the time of his daughter. This was a new competition record, shaving 2.33 seconds off the previous competition record of 7 minutes 48.36 seconds by Sun Yang, an icon of Chinese swimming and a native of Hangzhou. He shortened the previous Korean record he had set by 7 minutes, 47 seconds, 69 degrees, and 1 second, 63 seconds. In the men’s 800m relay final held earlier, he set a new Asian record with his teammates at 7 minutes 01.73 seconds.
In fact, he also aimed for a new record in the men’s 400m freestyle, which he won on the 29th. On this day, he ran up to 0.9 seconds faster than his previous pace until the middle of the race. However, his pace slowed down at the end, and although he recorded an overwhelming win in the final itself, he was unable to achieve his new personal record.
The reason the pace was fast was because I was greedy. The summit that Kim Woo-min wants to reach is not winning three Asian Games titles. The Asian Games are a kind of ‘halfway’ for him. His dream is to go to the Olympics and stand on top of the world. In fact, he had the Olympic Rings engraved on his left wrist. It was engraved in a place that was visible only to his own eyes. That’s how much the Olympics is his dream and goal.
Kim Woo-min, who met with reporters after the game on the 29th, said, “My goal is the Paris Olympics. It is true that I increased my pace in the beginning because I thought that if I were to participate in the Paris Olympics, I would have to go at that pace to compete with world-class athletes.” He added, “My personal goal is the Paris Olympics. “It’s about getting on the podium. I thought this competition was just another step in practicing for that, and I’m proud that it seems to have gone well,” he said. 안전놀이터
Kim Woo-min said, “I will approach the competition thinking of the World Championships to be held in February as the last inspection before the Paris Olympics. If I get good results at the championships, I think I will be able to achieve even better results at the Paris Olympics.” He then pledged, “I took 6th place at the Budapest Games (2022), and then 5th place (at the Fukuoka Games). I want to take 3rd place at the February Championships and take 1st place at the Olympics.”
Before running off to write new history again, there is one thing Kim Woo-min wants to do. When I asked Kim Woo-min what he most wanted to do now that he finished the competition, he laughed and said, “I want to rest for just one day without swimming.”