Check the Japan Open Event Landing Page for daily video recaps from Swimming World Japanese correspondent Hideki Mochizuki.
OSAKA, Japan, May 21. THE Japan Open held in Osaka turned up the heat on the second day of long course meter swimming. The world rankings sustained a serious rewrite once the day came to a close.
Ryosuke Irie ripped off the second-fastest men's 200 back time of the 2011 campaign with a 1:54.55 for the win this evening. That time fell just short of his top-ranked effort of 1:54.08 set in April. No one is within a second of Irie this year as Zhang Fenglin holds the second spot with a 1:56.34 from April. Kazuki Watanabe finished a distant second tonight in 1:57.68, just off his seventh-ranked season best of 1:57.21 from last month. Yuki Shirai finished third in 1:58.77 to take 16th in the rankings.
Yuya Horihata, the second-ranked swimmer in the world in the men's 400 IM with a 4:12.28 from last month, cleared 4:13 again tonight with a victorious effort of 4:12.96. Only Wang Chengxiang has been faster than Horihata with a top-ranked 4:11.89 from China. Daiya Seto took second this evening in 4:13.42 to move to sixth in the world rankings, while Kosuke Hagino placed third in 4:14.58 for 10th in the rankings. Hiromasa Fujimori picked up fourth-place honors with a 17th-ranked 4:16.84.
Miyu Otsuka vaulted into fourth in the world rankings in the women's 400 IM with a triumphant time of 4:38.05. Only Mireia Belmonte (4:34.91), Li Xuanxu (4:35.73) and Kirsty Coventry (4:37.21) have been faster this year. Miho Takahasi took second in 4:41.50 for 14th in the rankings, while Izumi Kato earned third in 4:42.16. Kato has been faster this year with an 18th-ranked season best of 4:41.90 from last month.
Shiho Sakai topped the women's 200 back with a 2:08.38, while Sayaka Akase placed second in 2:09.38. Sakai has been faster this year with a fourth-ranked 2:07.98, while Akase moved to 14th in the world rankings with her swim. Saki Shimazoe wound up third overall in 2:11.44.
Yuka Kato snatched the women's 50 fly crown in 26.34. She fell well short of her sixth-ranked season best of 26.07 from last month. Rino Hosoda finished second in 26.88, just shy of her 21st-ranked season best of 26.86. Misaki Agou earned third in 27.15.
Ryo Tateishi snagged the men's 50 breast title in 27.98, just missing his 14th-ranked season best of 27.90 from a month ago. Kouichirou Okazaki took second in 28.16, while Yuki Okajima placed third in 28.17.
Syoto Hara hit the wall in 23.95 to win the men's 50 fly, and improve to 21st in the world rankings. Ryo Takayasu finished just behind with a second-place 23.97, while Kouhei Kawamoto took third in 24.00.
Syogo Hihara took 23rd in the rankings in the men's 400 free with a winning 3:50.93. Yasunari Hirai finished second in 3:51.71, while Junpei Higashi earned third in 3:52.17. The B final proved to be faster with Syo Sotodate winning in 3:50.01, while Fumiya Hidaka took second in 3:50.96. Sotodate improved to 16th in the rankings, while Hidaka took 24th.
Yayoi Matsumoto moved to 24th in the world rankings with a winning time of 54.81 in the women's 100 free. Haruka Ueda took second in 55.52, while Miki Uchida placed third in 55.94.
Kanako Watanabe lowered a junior national record in the women's 50 breast with a winning time of 31.83. Mina Matsushima finished second in 32.02, while Kana Sugisaki placed third in 32.21.
Kenji Kobase won the men's 100 free in 49.31, while Takuro Fuji touched just behind with a second-place 49.36. Ranmaru Harada took third overall in 49.84, while Shinri Shioura also cleared 50 seconds with a fourth-place 49.85.
Maiko Fujino topped the women's 400 free in 4:13.02, while Aya Takano placed second in 4:13.51. Risa Sekine grabbed third in 4:14.32.