On the second day of competition at the Hangzhou Asian Games, the biggest upset came in swimming. South Korean freestyle hopeful Ji Yoo-chan (21, Daegu Metropolitan Government) broke the Asian Games record to win gold.
Ji Yoo-chan was the first to touch the touchpad in the men’s 50m freestyle final of the swimming management event at the Hangzhou Asian Games 2022 at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Aquatic Sports Arena in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on Friday with a time of 21.72 seconds.
Ji Yoo-chan brought a surprise to Korean swimming, which has been struggling in the shortest distance of the event, even on the Asian stage.
It was only the second time in 21 years that a South Korean swimmer has won a podium finish in the men’s 50-meter freestyle, after Kim Min-seok won gold at the 2002 Busan Games.
He shaved 0.32 seconds off Yang Jae-hoon’s Korean record (22.16). Ji Yoo-chan clocked 21.84 in the morning heats to set both an Asian Games record and a Korean record. In the final, he shaved another 0.12 seconds off that time to win gold.
In effect, he beat the Chinese favorite twice.
Ji Yoo-chan, who had been overshadowed by Hwang Sun-woo, is said to have made his presence felt at the AG.
Born on August 24, 2002, Ji Yuchan is 21 years old and hails from his hometown of Gwangju. He started swimming while attending Hwajeongnam Elementary School and graduated from Jeonnam Middle School and Gwangju Sports High School. He was selected for the South Korean national team in 2022 and competed for the national swimming team at the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games in 2023.
“It’s more meaningful to win a gold medal in China than in my home country,” said Ji Yoo-chan. I will do my best in the remaining matches,” he said, adding, “My teammates cheered me on and gave me more strength.” 안전놀이터