LONDON, July 28 (Yonhap) -- The false start disqualification ruling on South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan was overturned hours after it was issued Saturday at the London Olympics, officials said, in a move that clears the path for the reigning Olympic champion to win his second straight gold in the men's 400-meter freestyle swimming.
Earlier Saturday at London's Aquatics Centre, Park appeared to have crashed out of the competition after it was determined that he had moved slightly in his 'take your marks' position on the platform before his heat race. But South Korean swimming officials said FINA, the global governing body of the sport, overturned the decision upon video review of Park's start, after at first rejecting South Korea's appeal.
Park completed the swim and finished in 3 minutes and 46.68 seconds, the fastest time among all swimmers up to that point with one heat remaining. Sun Yang of China, considered Park's main rival, topped the field in heats at 3:45.07.
With the turnabout, Park enters the final with the fourth-fastest time among eight qualifiers. The move also knocked out Ryan Cochrane of Canada, who had been the eighth and the final qualifier.
Park, known for quick starts, had the fastest reaction time in his heat at 0.63 seconds. After the race, the 22-year-old Park didn't intially seem bothered by the abrupt decision.
"I don't know why I got disqualified. I have to ask around," he said. "I don't know what the problem is."
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Update: from Yonhap
By Yoo Jee-ho
LONDON, July 28 (Yonhap) -- Park Tae-hwan won the silver medal in 400-meter freestyle swimming at the London Olympics on Saturday, hours after an earlier false start disqualification ruling was overturned by officials.
At London's Aquatics Centre, Park clocked in at 3 minutes and 42.06 seconds to finish behind Sun Yang of China, who established an Olympic record with 3:40.14. Peter Vanderkaay of the U.S. won the bronze at 3:44.69.
Park failed in his attempt to win his second straight Olympic gold in 400ｍ free and also came up short in his bid to become the first South Korean to defend an Olympic gold in an individual event.
But Park almost never had a chance to swim in the final. He was initially disqualified for a false start after recording the fastest time in his heat earlier Saturday. South Korean officials appealed the ruling and the global governing body, FINA, overturned the decision after further video review.
Park Tae-hwan poses with his silver medal in the men's 400-meter freestyle swimming on July 28, 2012, at the London Olympics. (Yonhap)
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