How Fast are Today’s Japanese Junior Swimmers?

Photo Courtesy: Toshihiro Oimatsu

By Hideki Mochizuki

TOKYO, Japan, April 1. THE 36th Junior Olympic Cup, a major swim meet for Japanese junior swimmers, finished on March 30 with its four days of competition witnessing many promising performances from age groupers.

Although this annual meet took place in short course, some performances were eye-opening such as Luna Imai went 2:19.64 in women’s breaststroke in age 13-14 category. Throughout four days of competition, 6 National Primary School Records, 4 National Junior High School Records and 1 National High School Record was established.

The Junior Olympic Cup in Japan, which began in 1978, has always played an important role for elite swimming in Japan. It is held twice a year with Spring being with short course and Summer with long course format.

Most of the case, today’s every National Team member including Kosuke Kitajima or Kosuke Hagino, or Daiya Seto went through this Junior Olympic Cup in their junior days. Historically, Japan has a very strong foundation in junior swimming.

However, issues are seen in slow development of swimmers in college swimming and lack of mental toughness at major international competitions. Yet, great opportunity is afforded these young swimmers particularly in these age groupers might be major force for 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Swimming World extracted the winning time of each event from each age group to see where Japan is today at junior swimming scene.

MENS 50m freestyle:
Under 10 years old: 28.01
11 and 12 years old: 24.77
13 and 14 years old: 23.62
15 and 16 years old: 22.75
Championship (Under 18): 22.09

MENS 100m freestyle:
13 and 14 years old: 50.77
15 and 16: 49.22 (Meet Record)
Championship (Under 18): 47.95 (National High School Record)

MENS 200m freestyle:
11 and 12: 1:54.93 (National Primary School Record)
13 and 14: 1:48.07 (Meet Record)
15 and 16: 1:45.98 (Meet Record)
Championship (Under 18): 1:46.57

MENS 400m freestyle:
13 and 14: 3:50.62
15 and 16: 3:45.45 (Meet Record)
Championship: 3:44.35

MENS 1500m freestyle:
Championship: 15:03.40

MENS 50m backstroke:
10 and under: 30.60
11 and 12: 27.34
13 and 14: 26.00
15 and 16: 24.77
Championship: 24.69

MENS 100m backstroke
11 and 12: 59.17
13 and 14: 55.96
15 and 16: 53.37 (Meet Record)
Championship: 53.95

MENS 200m backstroke
13 and 14: 2:02.05
15 and 16: 1:57.04 (Meet Record
Championship: 1:56.59

MENS 50m breaststroke
10 and under: 34.37 (Meet Record)
11 and 12: 29.96 (National Primary School Record)
13 and 14: 28.87
15 and 16: 27.72 (Meet Record)
Championship: 27.71

MENS 100m breaststroke
11 and 12: 1:05.28
13 and 14: 1:02.26
15 and 16: 1:00.50 (Meet Record)
Championship: 59.17

MENS 200m breaststroke
13 and 14: 2:09.94
15 and 16: 2:10.55 (Meet Record)
Championship: 2:06.01 (Meet Record)

MENS 50m butterfly
10 and under: 29.86
11 and 12: 26.55
13 and 14: 24.94
15 and 16: 24.07 (Meet Record)
Championship: 23.98

MENS 100m butterfly
11 and 12: 58.60
13 and 14: 53.99
15 and 16: 53.08 (Meet Record)
Championship: 52.17

MENS 200m butterfly
13 and 14: 1:57.29 (Meet Record)
15 and 16: 1:57.48
Championship: 1:54.38

MENS 200m Individual Medley
10 and under: 2:22.42
11 and 12: 2:10.21
13 and 14: 2:01.76
15 and 16: 1:57.25 (Meet Record)
Championship: 1:58.28

MENS 400m Individual Medley
13 and 14: 4:16.40
15 and 16: 4:11.84 (Meet Record)
Championship: 4:12.57

WOMENS 50m freestyle
10 and under: 28.45
11 and 12: 26.65
13 and 14: 24.99 (National Junior High School Record)
15 and 16: 25.62 (Meet Record)
Championship: 25.60

WOMENS 100m freestyle
11 and 12: 57.04
13 and 14: 54.40 (National Junior High School Record)
15 and 16: 55.01
Championship: 54.75

WOMENS 200m freestyle
11 and 12: 2:03.29
13 and 14: 1:58.16
15 and 16: 1:57.78 (Meet Record)
Championship: 1:56.99 (Meet Record)

WOMENS 400m freestyle
13 and 14: 4:09.41 (Meet Record)
15 and 16: 4:08.24 (Meet Record)
Championship: 4:04.47

WOMENS 800m freestyle
Championship: 8:31.29

WOMENS 50m backstroke
10 and under: 31.14
11 and 12: 27.77 (National Primary School Record)
13 and 14: 28.37
15 and 16: 27.80 (Meet Record)
Championship: 27.55

WOMENS 100m backstroke
11 and 12: 1:00.38 (Nationa Primary School Record)
13 and 14: 59.50
15 and 16: 59.40 (Meet Record)
Championship: 59.38

WOMENS 200m backstroke
13 and 14: 2:08.23
15 and 16: 2:08.40 (Meet Record)
Championship: 2:07.22

WOMENS 50m breaststroke
10 and under: 35.32
11 and 12: 32.05 (Meet Record)
13 and 14: 31.51 (Meet Record)
15 and 16: 31.40
Championship: 31.75

WOMENS 100m breaststroke
11 and 12: 1:10.31
13 and 14: 1:06.92 (Meet Record)
15 and 16: 1:07.92
Championship: 1:07.81

WOMENS 200m breaststroke
13 and 14: 2:19.64 (Meet Record)
15 and 16: 2:24.38 (Meet Record)
Championship: 2:23.89

WOMENS 50m butterfly
10 and under: 29.38 (Meet Record)
11 and 12: 27.85
13 and 14: 26.64
15 and 16: 27.17 (Meet Record)
Championship: 26.68

WOMENS 100m butterfly
11 and 12: 1:01.31
13 and 14: 58.22 (Meet Record)
15 and 16: 58:96 (Meet Record)
Championship: 58.68

WOMENS 200m butterfly
13 and 14: 2:05.45 (National Junior High School Record)
15 and 16: 2:07.23 (Meet Record)
Championship: 2:08.78

WOMENS 200m Individual Medley
10 and under: 2:24.92
11 and 12: 2:14.57
13 and 14: 2:10.49 (Meet Record)
15 and 16: 2:09.71 (Meet Record)
Championship: 2:11.08

WOMENS 400m Individual Medley
13 and 14: 4:34.43 (Meet Record)
15 and 16: 4:33.44 (Meet Record)
Championship: 3:31.53

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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