Lee Ho-joon (Daegu Metropolitan City), who shared the 200m freestyle final stage at the World Championships with Korean swimming sensation Hwang Sun-woo (Gangwon Special Self-Governing Province), said he was proud to have “grown so much that I can’t believe it.”
The Korean swimming team arrived at Incheon Airport on July 31 after a successful World Aquatics Championships Fukuoka 2023.
The team won a bronze medal in the 200-meter freestyle with Hwang Sun-woo setting a new Korean record in the event. In addition, several athletes made significant achievements, including steady growth and a combined total of eight Korean records.
In particular, Lee Ho-joon made the final of the 200m freestyle, where Hwang Sun-woo was the center of attention, marking the first time ever that two Korean swimmers made the final.
This is a huge step forward for Lee, who did not compete in any individual events at the last World Championships in Budapest and only swam in the medley relay.
“We’ve grown so much that I can’t believe it,” Lee said, adding, “We’ve had some tough times, but we’ve been able to get to this point because we’ve been patient. I’m not satisfied with this achievement, but I want to continue to endure and do better.”
“I was nervous because I was competing against good players, but competing against them made me a stronger player,” he said of competing in the individual event at the World Championships and reaching his first final. It was a great time.”
The new ‘middle and long-distance powerhouse’ Kim Woo-min (Gangwon Special Self-Governing Province) also returned from the World Championships with confidence.
“I accomplished what I planned to do at the World Championships, so I want to keep the momentum going and do well at the Asian Games. I want to win four medals (including the 1500m, which I missed at the World Championships),” said Kim, who lowered his personal best times in all three events he competed in (400m freestyle and 800m men’s freestyle relay), holding up four fingers.
“I will continue to focus only on good results at the Asian Games, 한국야동 just like I have been doing so far,” he said.