After being crowned ‘Asian Champion’ with a gold medal at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, Baek In-cheol (23, Busan Jung-gu Office) is back at the top of his game with another Korean record.
Baek touched the touch pad in 23.15 seconds in the men’s 50m butterfly final on the first day of business at the 104th National Games in Mokpo Indoor Pool, Jeollanam-do, on Thursday afternoon.
The time is a new South Korean record. It was 0.14 seconds faster than Baek’s own Korean record of 23.29, which he set when he won the title at the Hangzhou Asian Games on March 28.
This marks the fourth Korean record and second Korean time this year for Baek, who has continued his rise to the top of the butterfly world. He also received a reward of 1 million won from the Korean Swimming Federation.
Baek set his first Korean record in November last year at the national selection trials for business management with a time of 23.67 seconds, 0.02 seconds faster than the previous record. On March 13, Baek won the men’s 50m butterfly final at the 13th Gimcheon National Swimming Championships in a tie-breaking time, and just a month later, he qualified for his first World Championships with a time of 23.50, a 0.17-second improvement at the KB Financial Korea Swim Championships.
At the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka in July, Baek finished 23rd in a Korean record time of 23.50 seconds and failed to qualify, but at the Asian Games in Hangzhou in September, he was crowned “Asian Champion” after breaking the meet record and the Korean record twice in a row.
“I’ve been refraining from broadcasting and other activities to focus more on my training as I thought I might be harmed by the attention after the Asian Games,” Baek said after the awards ceremony. “I’m happy with today’s result, but it wasn’t a perfect race. There was a 바카라 moment in the middle of the stroke when I didn’t catch all the water, so I’ll try to do better next time,” he added.
Meanwhile, in the men’s high school race, the youngest member of the national team, Kim Young-beom (17, Gangwon Chego 2), won the race in a new meet record of 23.98 seconds.