VICTORIA, British Columbia, Aug. 19. THE Japanese proved they came to make a statement on the third night of the 2006 Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships on Saturday as Reiko Nakamura posted a championship record en route to winning Japan’s second gold medal of the evening.
Nakamura destroyed teammate Takami Igarashi’s standard of 2:10.02 set during prelims with a 2:08.86 to claim the top spot on the podium.
Nakamura went out fast and never looked back as she notched a 30.25 at the 50-meter mark before clocking the only sub-1:03.00 time at the halfway point with a 1:02.81. She then posted a 1:35.76 at the 150-meter mark before steaming home for the record.
Meanwhile, American Margaret Hoelzer, the USA Swimming National titlist in the event earlier this month, picked up silver for the U.S. with a time of 2:09.42 that also eclipsed Igarashi’s short-lived meet-standard, while Igarashi pocketed bronze in 2:10.30.
Notably, the winner of the 100-meter backstroke Hanae Ito of Japan would have finished with a silver medal if her consolation heat winning time of 2:09.21 occurred during the big final.