Korean swimming star Park Tae-hwan collected four gold medals at the Santa Clara International Grand Prix in the U.S. over the weekend, a performance that will surely buoy his confidence less than 60 days before the London Olympics get under way.
He picked up three freestyle titles in the men's 100 m, 400 m, and 800 m on Friday and Saturday, then added No. 4 in the 200-m free by clocking 1 minute, 46.88 seconds on Sunday.
Park, the defending Olympic champion in the 400-m free who also finished second in the 200 m at Beijing 2008, showed how he is on pace to potentially defend his crown in the British capital this summer.
Park got off to a blistering start in Sunday's 200 m. He swam the first 50 m in 24.51 seconds and completed half of the race in 50.99, the first time he has ever beaten 51 seconds. He ran out of steam a bit in the second half, however, and finished 2 seconds behind his personal best of 1:44.80.
"I think I made some good sketches. If I can add all the details in London, I think I'll be able to produce a fantastic painting," he said after wrapping up the competition.
Park will return to Korea on Tuesday, and after a brief break, will leave for his training base in Brisbane, Australia, on Saturday. On July 1, he will embark on his final training session in Montpellier, France, for about 20 days before heading to London.