TOKYO, Japan, August 30. AKIHIRO YAMAGUCHI, who is creating buzz around the world for his breakthrough swims this month in the 200 breaststroke, showed off some sprint prowess earlier today at the conclusion of the Japan long course Junior Olympics.
Yamaguchi won the 50 breaststroke final in 27.69 after posting a 28.00 in the prelims. His finals swim nearly broke Kosuke Kitajima's national record of 27.30, set in April 2010, and ranks 17th in the world in the non-Olympic event. The time marks another national high school record for the 18-year-old, who now owns the national high school marks in all three breaststroke events.
Yamaguchi did not contest the 100 breaststroke at the meet, which was held on Tuesday, a day after he returned from the Junior Pan Pacific championships in Hawaii.
Unless he competes in next month's National Sports Festival, it appears that Yamaguchi will wrap up his impressive summer with a top three world ranking in the 200 breast (third, 2:07.57), eighth in the 100 breast (59.56) and the aforementioned 17th ranking in the 50.