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3 MORE JAPANESE RECORDS FALL -- April 21, 2000

TOKYO, April 21. THREE more Japanese records--all by women--fell on the third day of competition of the Japanese National Championships in Tokyo. Masami Tanaka,Mai Nakamura and Tomoko Hagiiwara were the record-setters, and all swam world-leading times for 2000 in setting their records.
Tanaka, 20, lowered the national record in the 100 meter breaststroke for the third time in two days, clocking 1:07.27. Only world record-holder Penny Heyns has swum faster. Tanaka had swum 1:07.88 in prelims and 1:07.38 in semis. Fifteen year-old Fumiko Kawanabe (1:10.25) out-touched Junko Isoda (1:10.29)for second.
Mai Nakamura, 20, lowered the Japanese national record in the 100 meter backstroke for the second time with her third sub-1:01 performance. Her 1:00.78 sliced 11-hundredths of a second off her prelim time. Noriko Inada, the former record-holder, was second in a strong 1:01.11, as all eight finalists swam under 1:03.
Nakamura's performance makes her the sixth fastest woman in history. If one extracts the two Chinese (He and Zhen) and one East German (Kleber) ahead of her--all three believed to have been aided by drugs--only two other women have legitimately swum faster than Nakamura.
Tomoko Hagiwara, 19, set the third Japanese mark, a blistering 2;12.84 for the 200 meter individual medley. Hagiwara blasted to the fore on the butterfly leg, then carved out an insurmountable lead by the half-way mark. Yasuko Tajima, who Wednesday had set a national mark in the 400 IM, came on strong in the back half to finish second in 2:16.05, a personal best. Hideko Hiranaka-Ando, 27, was third.
Hagiwara's time makes her the eleventh fastest woman in history, fourth fastest if the four Chinese and three East Germans ahead of her are deleted.
In the lone men's event of the evening, the 100 meter backstroke, Takafumi Oishi upset favored Keitaro Konnai 56.28 to 56.33.