Takeshi Matsuda
Courtesy of: Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports
TOKYO, Japan, April 15. JAPAN will have a very strong field of 22 men and women racing at this summer's Pan Pacific championships, based on the results of last week's long course nationals that saw several national records and an Asian record fall over four days of racing. Japan is also expected to win multiple medals at this fall's Asian Games, with the roster for that meet featuring many of the country's top stars.

The Japanese swimming federation released their rosters today during a press conference. The country is riding a wave of success in the pool that included 11 medals at the 2012 Olympics and six at the 2013 world championships. Kosuke Hagino will race more than any other Japanese swimmer, planning to appear in six individual events at the Pan Pacific championships in mid-August and a gold medal contender in just about all of them. He'll be joined by 400 IM world champion Daiya Seto, 200 fly Olympic bronze medalist Takeshi Matsuda and backstroke star Ryosuke Irie as the headliners on the men's side.

Interestingly, the men's roster does not feature Kohei Yamamoto, who broke 15 minutes in the 1500 free at the national championships, which is one of the top-four swims in the event so far this year.


The women's roster relies heavily on breaststroke, with four swimmers on the list specializing in that stroke. Double Olympic medalist Satomi Suzuki and rising star Kanako Watanabe are two aces in the hole for Japan in breaststroke, while Olympian Rie Kaneto and Mio Motegi will provide more medal chances for Japan. Natsumi Hoshi, the 200 fly Olympic medalist is another headliner that should help Japan collect more medals in Australia and Korea. While the women do not have as much hardware as their male counterparts, they are bound to put up strong swims at both meets.

Though the Pan Pacific championships is held in high regard for Japan as one of the meet's charter nations, the Asian Games is just as important. That competition is often viewed second only to the Olympics for many Asian nations, including Japan, because of the high monetary rewards offered to medalists and the stature of it being a continental championship.

The Pan Pacific championships will be held August 21-25 in Australia, while Korea will host the Asian Games September 21-26.

Pan Pacific championships roster
Men

Takuro Fujii
Hiromasa Fujimori
Takeharu Fujimori
Kosuke Hagino
Kenta Hirai
Hirofumi Ikebata
Ryosuke Irie
Yuki Kobori
Kazuki Kohinata
Yasuhiro Koseki
Takeshi Matsuda
Daiya Seto
Shinri Shioura

Women
Natsumi Hoshi
Rie Kaneto
Mio Motegi
Sakiko Shimizu
Satomi Suzuki
Miho Takahashi
Miyuki Takemura
Miki Uchida
Kanako Watanabe

Asian Games roster
Men

Takuro Fujii
Hiromasa Fujimori
Kosuke Hagino
Kenta Hirai
Hirofumi Ikebata
Ryosuke Irie
Yuki Kobori
Junya Koga
Kazuki Kohinata
Yasuhiro Koseki
Takeshi Matsuda
Daiya Seto
Shinri Shioura

Women
Natsumi Hoshi
Rie Kaneto
Sakiko Shimizu
Satomi Suzuki
Miho Takahashi
Miyuki Takemura
Miki Uchida
Kanako Watanabe