Park flops in first of four events

South Korea's Park Tae Hwan, the 2008 Olympic champion who won a late battle to swim at the Rio Games after appealing against a doping ban, failed to qualify for the men's 400 metres freestyle final yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The 2012 silver medallist finished fourth in his heat, won by China's world and Olympic champion Sun Yang, but his time of three minutes and 45.63 seconds left him 10th overall with only the top eight going through.

Park, the first Korean to claim an Olympic swimming medal when he won the 400m freestyle in Beijing in 2008, completed an 18-month ban imposed by world governing body Fina in March after testing positive for testosterone ahead of the 2014 Asian Games.

Under a controversial Korean Olympic Committee regulation, he was then hit with an additional three-year ban.

That would have ruled him out of contention for Rio but the Court of Arbitration for Sport cleared the 26-year-old to compete.

Park is also due to swim in the 100m, 200m and 1,500m freestyle races in what will be his fourth and final Olympics.

- Reuters.

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