Sung Min (swimmer)

Sung Min (also Seong Min, Korean: 성 민; born October 15, 1982) is a South Korean former swimmer, who specialized in freestyle and backstroke events.[2] He represented South Korea in three editions of the Olympic Games (2000 to 2008), and held multiple national championship titles and swimming records in the relay freestyle and backstroke events (50, 100, and 200 m). Sung had also won a total of five bronze medals, including one from the 50 m backstroke, at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea, and at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar.[3]

Sung Min
Personal information
Full nameSung Min
National team South Korea
Born (1982-10-15) 15 October 1982
Cerritos, California,
United States[1]
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight64 kg (141 lb)
StrokesFreestyle, backstroke
College teamKorea National Sports University[1]


Sung's Olympic debut came as a seventeen-year-old teen at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. There, he posted a lifetime best of 57.12 to lead the second heat of men's 100 m backstroke by exactly one second ahead of Uruguay's Diego Gallo, but finished only in thirty-first place from the prelims.[4] Two years later, Sung won two bronze medals, as a member of the South Korean swimming team, in the men's 400 m freestyle and medley relay at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, with a total time of 3:23.58 and 3:46.44, respectively.[3]

On his second Olympic appearance in Athens 2004, Sung failed to reach the top 16 in any of his individual events, finishing thirtieth in the 100 m backstroke (56.78), and thirty-second in the 200 m backstroke (2:04.86).[5][6][7][8]

At the 2005 Summer Universiade in Izmir, Turkey, Sung defeated Japan's Masafumi Yamaguchi and United States' Matt Grevers to earn a silver medal by two hundredths of a second (0.02) in the 50 m backstroke, posting a lifetime best of 25.59.[9] The following year, he snared the bronze medal in the same event at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, lowering his time at 25.57 seconds.[10]

Eight years after competing in his first Olympics, Sung qualified for his third South Korean team, as a 25-year-old, at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He broke a new South Korean record on a bodysuit and cleared a FINA B-cut time of 55.43 (100 m backstroke) from the Good Luck Beijing China Open.[11][12] In the 100 m backstroke, Sung challenged seven other swimmers on the third heat, including five-time Olympian Derya Büyükuncu of Turkey. He finished ahead of France's Benjamin Stasiulis in fourth place by a nine hundredth (0.09) margin, lowering his Olympic time to 54.99 seconds. Sung failed to advance into the semifinals, as he placed twenty-third out of 45 swimmers in the evening preliminaries.[13]

Personal life

Born and raised in Cerritos, California, United States, Sung holds a dual citizenship to train and compete internationally for South Korea in swimming. He is now a founder and coach for age group swimmers at the Rapids Swim Club in Los Angeles.[1][14]


  1. "미국 대표 '마린 보이' 키운다" [US-born representative is now a "marine boy"] (in Korean). Korea Times. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  2. Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Sung Min". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  3. "China and Japan Share the Gold on Day 5 of Asian Games; China's Wu and Xu Shine". Swimming World Magazine. 4 October 2002. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  4. "Sydney 2000: Swimming – Men's 100m Backstroke Heat 2" (PDF). Sydney 2000. LA84 Foundation. p. 274. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  5. "Men's 100m Backstroke Heat 2". Athens 2004. BBC Sport. 15 August 2004. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  6. Thomas, Stephen (15 August 2004). "Men's 100 Backstroke Prelims: Japan's Morita Surprises with Fastest Time; Americans Cruise Through". Swimming World Magazine. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  7. "Men's 200m Backstroke Heat 2". Athens 2004. BBC Sport. 18 August 2004. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  8. Thomas, Stephen (18 August 2004). "Men's 200 Backstroke Prelims, Day 5: Peirsol Looks Good for a Dorsal Double". Swimming World Magazine. Archived from the original on 3 December 2005. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  9. "Universiade: Harvest Day for US, China". Xinhua News Agency. China Org. 15 August 2005. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  10. Marsteller, Jason (7 December 2006). "Park Snares Second Asian Record, Japan Wins Medal Count as Asian Games Come to a Close". Swimming World Magazine. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  11. "Good Luck Beijing China Open: Day Five Finals". Swimming World Magazine. 3 February 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  12. "Olympic Cut Sheet – Men's 100m Backstroke" (PDF). Swimming World Magazine. p. 22. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  13. "Men's 100m Backstroke Heat 2". Beijing 2008. NBC Olympics. Archived from the original on 21 August 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  14. "[수영] 월드컵 2관왕 성민 "한국 수영 새물길 내겠다"" [Korean swimming has found a new star, as Sung Min won two gold medals at the World Cup] (in Korean). JoongAng Ilbo. 3 January 2002. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
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