Korea’s Moon Sua advanced to Wednesday’s 200 breaststroke semifinals in 15th at 2:27.91. At age 13 and born in November 2008, she is the youngest athlete in the entire meet, and even younger than some of the world records in the sport. The time was a good one for her, right on the 2:27.90 she swam at Korean Trials in March, but she has swum faster in her young career.
“My personal best is actually a 2:25.48 so it’s not my current PB this morning but I am happy I made it to the semifinals and in the semifinals I would like to break my personal best,” Moon said after her heats swim.
Being at her first Worlds is not only an opportunity for her to race against the world’s best, but also a chance to see some of her idols for the first time in action.
“Other than the time itself I was really excited to race next to Lilly King and see Caeleb Dressel in real life so that experience itself was really exciting and I am happy to be here to do that,” Moon said.
“I really wanted to see Lilly King in person. I haven’t had a chance to get a picture with her yet but I am waiting for the opportunity.”
Moon will race against King later on in tonight’s semifinals, as King is the second seed and the gold medal favourite for tomorrow’s final. The next youngest in the semifinals, Kotryna Teterevkova out of Lithuania, is over six and a half years older than Moon.
Moon, based out of Sangil Girls' Middle School, certainly could be just getting her career started. If she makes the final, she would be the first Korean woman to make a breaststroke final at the FINA World Championships and would put herself on the radar of the world’s best ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics.