S. Korean men’s relay swimming team reaches world championships final

South Korea advanced to the final of the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the ongoing world championships in Qatar on Friday, moving closer to the country's first relay medal at the competition. The team of Lee Ho-joon, Lee Yoo-yeon, Kim Woo-min and Hwang Sun-woo finished second in the heats at the World Aquatics Championships at the Aspire Dome in Doha with a time of 7:07.61. The top eight teams out of 15 reached the final, scheduled to begin at 2:33 a.m. Saturday in South Korean time. Kim won the 400m freestyle gold medal, and Hwang earned the 200m freestyle title earlier in the competition, raising hopes for South Korea's first medal in the relay event. At the Asian Games in September last year, Lee, Kim, Hwang and Yang Jae-hoon combined for the gold medal over China. That quartet set an Asian record time of 7:01.73. In Friday's heats, China came out on top in 7:06.93, with the 100m freestyle world record holder Pan Zhanle being the anchor. By making it past the heats, South Korea also secured a ticket to the Paris Olympics in the 4x200m freestyle relay. The defending world champion in this event, Britain, did not send its top swimmers to the relay this time, nor did the United States, which won silver in 2023. Australia, the 2023 bronze medalist, skipped the relay altogether in Doha. Hwang will be chasing his fourth career world championship medal, having earlier won the 200m silver in 2022 and 200m bronze in 2023. It would make him the most decorated South Korean swimmer in world championship history, surpassing Park Tae-hwan, who won the men's 400m freestyle gold medals in 2007 and 2011, and the 200m freestyle bronze medal in 2007. Source: Yonhap News Agency