Olympic 400m free champion and silver medallist over 200m Park Tae-hwan (KOR) cruised to a 1:46.09 victory over 200m freestyle at the 84th Dong-A Swimming Championships at Munsu Arena in the southern port city of Ulsan.
His Asian record of 1:44.80 was set at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010 and while that slid away under the weight of current workloads, Park gave a hint of the speed he will take with him to London 2012 with a 1:18.98 split at the last turn.
Local reports from Ulsan suggest he slowed up in the last 10m, his speed test done. Park's Australian coach Michael Bohl told local reporters that Park had been "very focussed" on training for "the past several months without going astray at all", and as such Korea could look forward to a fast 200m as well as a speedy 400m at the Olympic Games.
The swimmer's team sponsor, SK Telecom, is quoted as saying that Park has clocked 1:40 over 200m in training. We take it that was a broken swim…
Beyond the hype and sound of lines being stretched, Park said: "I`m doing my best to meet the expectations of Koreans. I will live up to their expectations at the Olympics.
Bohl noted the number of tough rivals out there. Park, he added, would play to the progress he has made in "physical endurance and speed" since he claimed the world 400m crown in Shanghai last year.