June 29, 2018 / 5:02 AM / 8 months ago

South Korean swimmer Park pulls out of Asian Games

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

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.

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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