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Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Centre, the swimming venue of the Gwangju World Championships

Sports News

Hosts South Korea to field its largest team at swimming world championships

Date : 11 Jun 2019

Seoul, South Korea, June 11, 2019: Hosts South Korea will field its largest team at a swimming World Championships with a squad of 82 athletes for the Gwangju showpiece from July 12-28.

The Korean squad will include: 29 in swimming, eight in diving, 26 in water polo, 11 in artistic swimming and eight in open water swimming.

The hosts, however, will be missing Park Tae-hwan, the only South Korean swimmer to have won an Olympic gold medal – men’s 400 freestyle at 2008 Beijing Games – and a world title. Park announced in April that he would not compete in Gwangju, citing his lack of preparation.

Without Park, Kim Seo-yeong represents the best medal hopes for South Korea. She had a banner year in 2018 winning the gold medal in the women’s 200m individual medley and the silver in the 400m IM at the Asian Games. She set as Asian Games record in the 200m event with two minutes 08.34 seconds.

So far in 2019, Katinka Hosszu of Hungary owns the best women’s 200m IM time with 2:08.50.

Gwangju’s organisers said as of last week, 5,600 athletes and officials from 196 countries had registered. The deadline is Wednesday (June 14), and with more countries expected to register, the competition is anticipated to be the largest world championship ever. The previous event in 2015 in Budapest, Hungary had 177 countries and the 2015 competition in Kazan, Russia had athletes from 184 nations.

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