TAJIMA SETS 400 IM NATIONAL MARK AT JAPANESE NATIONALS -- April 19, 2000
April 18. JAPAN's Yasuko Tajima set a national record in the women's 400 meter individual medley today on the first day of the Japanese National Championships. Tajima's time of 4:39.13 eclipsed the 4:39.45 she swam two years ago at the World Championships in Perth, Australia.
The soft-spoken, slender swimmer made no bones about her goal this year: "I want to win the gold medal at the Olympics in Sydney," she told reporters. Tajima's time is the world's fastest this season.
There were two other national records set on Day One. Veteran Akira Hayashi stroked 1:01.82 in the semi-finals of the men's 100 meter breaststroke, and Hideaki Hara swam 1:50.41 in the semis of the men's 200 free.
The semi-finals of the women's 100 meter butterfly saw Maki Mita and Tomoko Hagiwara swim personal bests of 59.23 and 59.81, respectively. Both are considered stronger 200 meter swimmers.