Park Makes History For Korea: Gold In 3:41.86
Aug 10, 2008

Park Tae-hwan delivered at least half of his promise in the 400m freestyle: there was no getting past Thorpey's world record but in an Asian record of 3:41.86, he became the first Korean Olympic swim champion in history.

Grant Hackett (AUS) set the pace over the first 100m but it was Park all the way from 150m to the end. Behind Park, six of the seven others in the race (Lobintsev of Russia was off the pace), swam within a stroke of each other for much of the eight lengths. At 200m Zhang Lin (CHN) was 8th on 1:52.12 and was still 6th with 50m to go, on 3:16.29. he then put in a 26.15 last 50m sprint that brought China its first Olympic swimming medal among men, in 3:42.44. The bronze went to Larsen Jensen (USA) in 3:42.78.

Park's splits: 54.07; 1:51.03; 2:47.10; 3:41.86.

The rest of the field barring Lobintsev was trapped between Peter Vanderkaay (USA), on 3:43.11, and Yuriy Prilukov (RUS), in seventh on 3:43.97. The fastest field ever - by far. The blip was Lobintsev, who came home in a nervy 3:48.29.