June 29, 2018 / 5:02 AM / 22 days ago

South Korean swimmer Park pulls out of Asian Games

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s former Olympic swimming champion Park Tae-hwan said on Friday he is withdrawing from the team for this summer’s Asian Games due to his indifferent form.

2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Preliminary - Men's 400m Freestyle - Heats - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 06/08/2016. Park Tae-Hwan (KOR) of South Korea competes. REUTERS/David Gray

Park, who won gold in the 400m freestyle in Beijing but was handed an 18-month doping ban in 2016, earned his spot on the team for the Aug. 18-Sept. 2 Games in Indonesia at the national team trials in April.

However, he said in a statement issued by his agency that he was not swimming well enough to compete.

“I’ve realised that I am in no shape to post good records,” Yonhap News quoted Park as saying. “Rather than saying I am retiring, I’d like to take some time to think about my future.”

The 28-year-old double world champion has six Asian Games golds to his name from Doha (2006) and Guangzhou (2010). He was stripped of a silver and five bronze medals from the 2014 Games due to his doping suspension.

Writing by Peter Rutherford; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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