TOKYO, Japan, May 25. THE Japan Long Course Open began today with a national record in the women's 100 backstroke and impressive performances from the world's fastest swimmers in the 200 butterfly.
Aya Terakawa stunned the crowd by dipping under her own national mark of 59.10 in the 100 back — set last month at the Japanese Olympic Trials — with a 59.08. The time keeps her at No. 2 in the world behind Anastasia Zueva's 58.97. Shiho Sakai was well back in second place with a 1:01.62 and Emi Moronuki was third in 1:02.10.
Natsumi Hoshi, who stands as the fastest woman in the 200 butterfly so far this year with a 2:04.69 from the Olympic Trials, won the event handily today with a 2:07.45. Second place went to Kei Hoshiba with a 2:09.34, and Hiroko Sugino placed third with a 2:10.01.
Takeshi Matsuda, standing at the top of the world rankings with a 1:54.01 in the 200 fly from the Japanese Olympic Trials, nearly bettered that with a 1:54.69 today. That marks the third time he has been under 1:55 this year, and gives him the three fastest performances in the event in 2012.Only Nick D'Arcy (1:54.71) and Laszlo Cseh (1:54.95) have gone under 1:55 in 2012. Kazuya Kaneda was second in today's race with a 1:56.98, slower than the 1:55.39 he swam to earn a spot on the Olympic team. Takehisa Nakayama placed third with a 1:58.33.
The women's 200 freestyle featured a two-woman battle for the win, with Haruka Ukeda taking the victory in 1:58.32, slower than the 1:57.41 she posted at the Japanese Trials for 12th in the world. Hanae Itou placed second with a 1:58.63 and Yayoi Matsumoto was third with a 1:59.81.
Yuuki Kobori won the men's 200 free with a 1:48.31, ahead of three other swimmers who dipped under 1:49. Kosuke Hagino was second in 1:48.52, Syou Sotodate placed third with a 1:48.53 and Yuya Horihata finished fourth in 1:48.98.
Ryosuke Irie claimed the men's 100 back title in 53.30, a shade off the 52.91 he posted at the Olympic Trials. Second place went to Yuki Shirai with a 54.43, and Yamato Ujibayashi placed third in 54.80.
Asami Chida won the women's 800 freestyle with an 8:36.46. Marie Kamimura was second with an 8:40.63, and Sakiko Nakamura placed third with an 8:42.02.
Yohei Takiguchi took the men's 1500 freestyle in 15:18.90, ahead of Syogo Takeda's second-place time of 15:21.54. Kohei Yamamoto placed third in 15:25.21.
Satomi Suzuki won the women's 100 breast with a 1:08.07, followed closely by Kanako Watanabe with a 1:08.29. Mio Motegi was third in 1:08.52.
Ryo Tateishi concluded the session with a win in the men's 100 breast in 1:00.45. He's been faster this year, with a 59.60 to his credit from Olympic Trials. Akihiro Yamaguchi finished second with a 1:00.95, with Yasuhiro Koseki placing third with a 1:01.07.