TOKYO, Japan, February 22. SHIHO Sakai completed the final day of the Japan Open at the Tatsumi International Aquatic Center on a high note when she set a world short course record in the women's 100 back.
Sakai clocked a time of 56.15, that she split 27.23 and 28.93, to win the 100 back. The time not only demolished her Japanese record of 56.70, it also cleared the world record of 56.51 set by Natalie Coughlin in 2007 at the Singapore World Cup stop.
Sakai: 27.23, 56.15 (28.93)
Coughlin: 27.54, 56.51 (28.97)
Sakai is 18 years old and is a high school senior who swims for the Bridgestone Swim Club.
"I still cannot believe this is real," Sakai told Swimming World. "But, I swam 56 seconds two weeks ago, so I realized that I would be close to the record before the race. Obviously, this feat would not have been possible without assistance from many people. I will work hard, especially on my underwater kick."
Special thanks to Hideki Mochizuki for contributing to this report.