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S. Korean Ji Yu-chan grabs stunning swimming gold

By Yonhap

Published : Sept. 25, 2023 - 21:21

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Ji Yu-chan of South Korea celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 50-meter freestyle swimming at the Asian Games at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Aquatic Sports Arena in Hangzhou, China, on Monday. (Yonhap) Ji Yu-chan of South Korea celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 50-meter freestyle swimming at the Asian Games at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Aquatic Sports Arena in Hangzhou, China, on Monday. (Yonhap)

HANGZHOU, China -- South Korean swimmer Ji Yu-chan soared to a shock gold medal in the men's 50-meter freestyle at the Asian Games here Monday.

Ji won his first career Asiad gold with an Asian Games record time of 21.72 seconds at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Aquatic Sports Arena in Hangzhou.

He beat out Ho Ian Yentou of Hong Kong by 0.15 second. The reigning 100m freestyle champion, Pan Zhanle of China, took the bronze in 21.92 seconds.

Ji's was South Korea's first swimming gold medal in Hangzhou.

Ji had won the heats earlier Monday with a then-Asian Games record of 21.84. And that mark didn't even last a day, as Ji had the swim of his life for the most unexpected gold medal for South Korea so far at this Asiad.

Ji, who'd told reporters after winning the heats that he would go for the gold medal, said even he wasn't sure he could pull it off.

"I had such a great time in the heats, and so I went out on a limb and made that declaration," Ji said. "I am happy I was able to make it come true." (Yonhap)