FINA World Cup, Tokyo: Japan Dominates in Prelims

TOKYO, Japan, November 11. THE first prelim session of the final meet of the FINA World Cup saw overall points leaders Chad Le Clos and Therese Alshammar continue to set up moneymaking opportunities, and the host country putting up the majority of swimmers in each event.

Women's 800 freestyle
Japanese swimmers posted the fastest times posted the fastest time in the early heats of the timed finals. Riho Hatanaka finished first with an 8:42.36, while Marin Ohsaki was second in 8:43.76. Mine Watanabe was third with an 8:44.17.

Men's 100 freestyle
Japan's Kinta Ito will be the top seed in the final with his prelim time of 48.09. Australia's Kyle Richardson, a fixture in the final of this event at previous World Cup meets, qualified second with a 48.30. Alain Bernard of France, swimming in his first World Cup meet of the season, was third in 48.80.

Chad Le Clos of South Africa (48.89), Shinri Shioura of Japan (49.01), Australia's Andrew Lauterstein (49.05), and Japan's Kazuki Nagura (49.08) and Yuuki Kawachi (49.19) will also be in the final.

Ian Thorpe, whose return to competition has been watched closely around the world, could not make it to the final, placing 12th with a 49.45. Notably, that time is faster than the 50.21 he swam earlier in the week in Beijing.

Women's 200 freestyle
Haruka Uneda of Japan placed first in prelims with a 1:56.24. Blair Evans of Australia was second in 1:56.66 and Hanae Itou of Japan was third in 1:57.23.

Also making the final were Merindah Dingan of Australia (1:57.28), Miki Uchida of Japan (1:58.67), Chihiro Igarashi of Japan (1:58.76), Tang Yi of China (1:59.07) and France's Mylene Lazare (1:59.22).

Men's 50 breaststroke
Yuuki Okajima of Japan swam a 27.03to qualify fastest through prelims. Also swimming in the championship final will be Australia's Christian Sprenger (27.06), Japan's Ryo Tateishi (27.20), Australia's Brenton Rickard (27.24) and four more Japanese swimmers: Kosuke Kitajima (27.33), Kouichirou Okazaki (27.35), Hiroyuki Shirai (27.41) and Hiromasa Sakimoto (27.41).

Women's 100 breaststroke
Japan's Kanako Watanabe posted a 1:06.58 to earn the top spot in the final. Leiston Pickett of Australia was second in 1:06.96 and Hye Jin Kim of Korea finished third with a 1:07.09. Also earning places in the final were Mina Matsushima (1:07.16), Joline Hoestman of Sweden (1:07.34), Hitomi Nose of Japan (1:07.37), Saya Fujimoto of Japan (1:07.39) and Sayuna Sugiyama of Japan (1:07.72).

Men's 400 individual medley
Japan was the only country to field swimmers in the early heats of this timed-final event, with Yosuke Mori posting the fastest time of 4:11.48. Naoki Nakatani was second with a 4:13.21 and Keita Itou touched third in 4:13.49.

Women's 100 butterfly
Therese Alshammar of Sweden broke the Japanese streak, qualifying first in this event with a 57.30. Japan did put swimmers in second and third position, with Yuka Katou (57.61) and Chika Dobashi (59.15). Reigning Olympic champion Libby Trickett qualified fourth with a 59.42. Sweden's Martina Granstroem (59.62) qualified fifth.

Japan put three more swimmers into the final: Miho Teramura (59.69), Hiroko Sugino (59.70) and Natsumi Hoshi (59.91).

Men's 100 backstroke
Japan returned to the top of the list in the men's backstroke, with Yuuki Shirai qualifying first with a 52.07 and Kazuki Watanabe second with a 52.42. Colombia's Omar Pinzon was third with a 52.71.

Japan put swimmers in places four through seven in prelims: Takeshi Kawamoto (52.71), Masafumi Yamaguchi (52.83), Junya Koga (52.85) and Takahiro Yamazaki (52.86). Ryan Pini of Papua New Guinea rounded out the top eight with a 52.93.

Women's 50 backstroke
Zhao Jing of China took the top qualifying spot with a 26.94, ahead of Australia's Rachel Goh, who posted a 26.96. Aya Terakawa, the reigning world silver medalist, was third with a 27.05. Rounding out the top eight were Australia's Grace Loh (27.48) and four swimmers from Japan: Shiho Sakai (27.62), Eri Tabei (27.87), Risa Kishimoto (28.10) and Mika Ikeda (28.13).

Men's 200 butterfly
Takeshi Matsuda of Japan, the reigning silver medalist in this event from the world championships and Olympic bronze medalist, led a field of six Japanese into the final with a time of 1:51.85. The other Japanese competing in the final are Kazuya Kaneda (second, 1:53.62), Hidemasa Sano (tie for third, 1:54.30), Shinpei Irie (fifth, 1:55.24), Ryusuke Sakata (sixth, 1:55.71) and Hayato Odagiri (eighth, 1:55.92).

South Africa's Chad Le Clos (tie for third, 1:54.30) and Australia's Chris Wright (seventh, 1:55.82) kept the event from being an all-Japan final.

Women's 200 individual medley
Hye Ra Choi of Korea swam the top qualifying time of 2:10.66 in the prelims, followed by seven Japanese swimmers: Miho Takahashi (2:10.71), Tomoyo Fukuda (2:11.14), Emu Higuchi (2:11.41), Tomoko Hagiwara (2:12.12), Sakiko Shimizu (2:12.51), Chihiro Igarashi (2:12.60) and Emi Takabatake (2:12.61).

Men's 400 freestyle
Robert Hurley of Australia will be the only non-Japanese swimmer in the final, and will dive into lane four with a top qualifying time of 3:45.20. Japan will be represented by Syogo Hihara (3;45.74), Youhei Takiguchi (3:45.86), Hirotada Noritake (3:46.41), Keita Moteki (3:46.71), Junpei Higashi (3:47.53), Syo Uchida (3:47.70) and Yasunari Hirai (3:48.09).

Women's 50 freestyle
Australia qualified 1-2 for the final, with Cate Campbell first with a 24.10 and Olivia Halicek second in 24.28. Third spot went to Sweden's Therese Alshammar with a 24.77.

Japan's Miki Uchida (25.10), Australia's Libby Trickett (25.15) and Merindah Dingjan (25.17) and Japan's Tomoko Hagiwara (25.24) and Yayoi Matsumoto (25.35) will also race in the final.

Men's 200 breaststroke
Seven Japanese swimmers will race in the 200 breast final, with reigning Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima qualifying first with a 2:06.67. Marco Koch of Germany will also line up for the final, qualifying fourth with a 2:07.81. Ryo Tateishi (2:07.15), Kazuki Ohtsuka (2:07.63), Naoya Tomita (2:08.00), Ryuta Tani (2:08.80), Yukihiro Takahashi (2:08.82) and Kazuki Kohinata (2:09.31) will also swim in the final.

Men's 100 individual medley
Japan qualified first through fifth for the final: Takurou Fujii (53.84), Takuto Ueki (54.79), Kazuki Nagura (54.84), Ikumi Hasegawa (54.95) and Yuuma Kosaka (55.06). South Africa's Chad Le Clos was sixth with a 55.11, Masafumi Yamaguchi of Japan was seventh with a 55.19 and Colombia's Omar Pinzon was eighth with a 55.29.

Women's 200 backstroke
Another Japan-heavy final will feature Sayaka Akase (2:06.13), Marie Kamimura (2:06.88), Shiho Sakai (2:07.05), Miyu Ohtsuka (2:07.08) and Eri Tabei (2:07.44) in the top five. New Zealand's Melissa Ingram was sixth with a 2:07.75. Japan's Mai Harada (2:08.43) and Rei Kuboki (2:09.05) were seventh and eighth.

Men's 50 butterfly
Kouhei Kawamoto led six Japanese swimmers to the top six spots into the final with a top time of 22.96. Ryo Takayasu (22.98), Hiroki Katou (23.04), Yoshinori Muramatsu (23.47), Masamichi Ueda (23.58) and Ryo Ishii (23.73) will also swim in the final. Seventh place went to Australia's Andrew Lauterstein (23.74), eighth to Syota Hara (23.75).

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Author: Archive Team

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