Five athletes from the Gangwon Provincial Office, including South Korean swimming sensations Hwang Sun-woo and Kim Woo-min, were found to have suffered from a food poisoning outbreak ahead of the start of the 104th Jeonnam National Games.
After recovering, the athletes said, “The worst has passed,” after winning gold in the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay at the 104th Jeonnam National Games at the Mokpo Indoor Pool in Mokpo, Jeollanam-do, on Friday.
Hwang Sun-woo, Kim Woo-min and Choi Dong-yeol, all members of the Gangwon Provincial Government, reportedly contracted food poisoning after eating the wrong food just before the opening ceremony.
They suffered from an upset stomach, fever, and body aches, and were barely able to train before the games.
“It was very hard,” said Hwang Sun-woo, “I took medication and focused on my recovery.”
“I was just lying in bed with my roommate, Sunwoo,” said Kim Woo-min, “and I think we overcame it well.”
Fortunately, the players’ physical condition is improving.
Kim Woo-min followed up his 1,500-meter freestyle gold on Thursday with a gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle relay, while Hwang Sun-woo was the final stroke in the 800-meter freestyle relay to lead the team to victory.
Both athletes viewed the food poisoning as a “setback.
“I’m determined to overcome it and do well in the remaining individual and team events at the Games,” Hwang said.
In addition to today’s 800-meter freestyle relay, Hwang will compete in six other events: the 200-meter freestyle (16), 400-meter freestyle (17), 100-meter freestyle (18), 400-meter medley relay (19) and the 400-meter mixed medley relay (18), which will be an exhibition event.
He has set his sights on winning all five official events.
If he wins five titles, he could become the first swimmer in the history of the Games to win the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for three consecutive years.
When asked, “If you had to choose between winning five medals and MVP, what would you choose?” Hwang said, “Both are good,” adding, “I want to win both.
His biggest rival for the MVP award is teammate Kim Woo-min.
Kim, who won three titles at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games and was the MVP of the Korean team, will be looking to make it five.
“If I win five gold medals, I think I’ll be able to challenge for MVP,” Kim said.
Regardless of the outcome, however, both players said they would congratulate each other.
“I don’t consider Hwang Sun-woo a rival,” Kim Woo-min said, “and if he wins, I will congratulate him from the bottom of my heart.”
Hwang Sun-woo laughed, saying, “Kim Woo-min is my teammate,” and added, “It doesn’t matter who gets it.” 파워볼게임