Japanese Olympic Trials, day 3: Okumura Sets Japanese Record in the 200m Free, 1:48.87

BY Hideki Mochizuki

TOKYO, April 22. TONIGHT's first Japanese record came in the men's 200m freestyle when Yoshihiro Okumura swam 4 laps in 1.48.87.

This record is equal to 13th in last year’s world rankings. Okumura was consistent from the start and had splits of 25.66, 53.41 and 1:21.02, consistently taking one breath every four strokes.

“I am so happy to win this race before this large crowd of spectators with my personal best, as I have not had a PR in almost two years. I thought I was going a 1.47, but…yes. I believe today that I can go there.”

Strengthening the men's freestyle has been the federation’s top priority for decades but tus far it has produced few results. No Japanese man has broken 50 seconds for 100 free.

At last year's World Championships in Barcelona, thr Japan’s mens’ team placed third in the 400m medley relay. Now, with Morita (backstroke), Kitajima (breaststroke), Yamamoto (Butterfly) and a freestyler who will be named later this week, Japan has a chance to medal in Athens.

Women's 100m backstroke
In the women's 100m backstroke, 2000 Olympic silver medalist Mai Nakamura sank to third place (1:01.55) and did not make the team. Aiming for her third consecutive Olympic Games, Nakamura went out in 29.61 but could not hang with Reiko Nakamura and Noriko Inada, who finished in 1:00.98 and 1:01.39, respectively..

In tears, Nakamura said: “I feel now that everything is over. I am relieved from nervousness, you know. Although I was not selected for the team, I want to evaluate myself highly. To continue competing? I don’t know what I should do. Sometimes I feel that I want to pursue some opportunities other than swimming. I will consult with my coach.”

In the end, Nakamura admitted that she never regained her sharpness after the Sydney Games. “I always felt something was stuck in my swims. That something was wrong, you know, ever since Sydney.” Nakamura swims the 200m later this week but she was focusing on the 100m.

In the women's 100m breaststroke, Masami Tanaka won the race but could not better the standard that the Japanese federation set, missing by only 0.03. The standard is 1.09.01 and Tanaka’s winning time was 1.09.04. Tanaka was in tears but now focuses on the 200m breaststroke. Still, Tanaka likely will be selected for the 400m medley relay team.

From morning heats
In the morning heats, in the women's 800m freestyle, Sachiko Yamada swam a satisfactory 8.33.07 and is the top seeded for tomorrow’s final. In the men's 1500m freestyle preliminary, Takeshi Matsuda broke the Japanese record by swimming at 15.09.52. His previous best was 15.21.02 at the national collegiate championships last year. (He also swam 200m butterfly in 1.55.88 at the same meet but was not selected for the World Championships in Barcelona.)

Matsuda is one of the new male hopes for the next generation. Born on June 23, 1984, he is now a sophomore at Chukyo University and is coached by Yumiko Kuse. He won the 400m freestyle in 3.50.88 on the first day. He was a representative for Pan Pacific Champs in 2002. 184cm, 78kg. Matsuda is also the top seed in the 200m butterfly with his swift 1.56.60 in today's semis.

RESULTTS

Semi-Finals

Men's 200m Butterfly (Japan record:1:55.52)
1 Takeshi Matsuda 1984/06/23 1:56.60
26.38 56.00 1:26.24
2 Takashi Yamamoto 1978/07/23 1:56.81
26.17 55.34 1:25.40
3 Makoto Muto 1984/10/29 1:57.61
26.77 57.01 1:27.20
4 Ryuichi Shibata 1983/12/14 1:57.98
26.54 56.16 1:26.65
5 Kentaro Usuda 1983/06/16 1:58.89
26.62 56.82 1:27.38
6 Yu Kondo 1981/06/02 1:58.93
27.14 58.04 1:28.63
7 Yusuke Aihara 1982/10/04 1:59.61
26.97 57.18 1:28.05
8 Ryusuke Sakata 1985/12/25 1:59.67
27.36 57.55 1:28.22

Women's 200m IM Semi-Final (Japan record:2:12.84)
1 Misa Amano 1986/10/15 2:17.02
30.65 1:06.28 1:44.95
2 Sawami Fujita 1984/04/25 2:17.66
29.73 1:04.76 1:46.17
3 Hiromi Takeuchi 1986/01/07 2:17.68
30.19 1:04.32 1:45.24
4 Yukako Akagi 1985/03/11 2:17.76
30.45 1:06.11 1:44.82
5 Aoi Mizushima 1983/05/31 2:17.77
30.56 1:06.10 1:45.36
6 Tsukushi Irita 1987/04/22 2:18.16
30.52 1:06.57 1:46.09
7 Rina Ueda 1990/01/11 2:18.49
30.19 1:06.07 1:45.82
8 Chiemi Shigeta 1985/04/27 2:18.50
29.25 1:04.67 1:46.14

FINALS

Women 200m Freestyle FINAL (Japan record:1:58.78)
1 Tomoko Nagai 1981/05/10 2:00.48
27.97 58.49 1:29.35
2 Haruka Ueda 1988/04/27 2:01.52
28.60 59.28 1:30.44
3 Norie Urabe 1986/12/02 2:01.60
28.20 58.67 1:29.92
4 Kei Aoki 1987/09/03 2:03.01
28.88 59.44 1:31.05
5 Madoka Ochi 1985/03/24 2:04.14
29.67 1:01.36 1:32.83
6 Yuen Kobayashi 1986/05/16 2:04.52
29.72 1:01.41 1:33.14
7 Yukimi Hasegawa 1985/05/05 2:04.58
29.28 1:00.43 1:32.94
8 Akina Okura 1984/06/07 2:05.15
29.36 1:01.00 1:33.18

Men's 200m Freestyle FINAL (Japan record:1:49.23)
1 Yoshihiro Okumura 1983/05/09 1:48.87 NEW JAPAN RECORD
25.66 53.41 1:21.02
2 Yuji Sakurai 1984/09/13 1:50.01
25.93 53.39 1:21.83
3 Sho Uchida 1987/09/28 1:50.64
26.49 54.35 1:22.52
4 Hisato Matsumoto 1984/10/05 1:50.77
26.38 54.26 1:22.68
5 Takamitsu Kojima 1981/05/25 1:50.89
25.71 53.82 1:22.72
6 Shunichi Fujita 1982/05/27 1:50.95
26.04 54.29 1:22.75
7 Naoya Sonoda 1982/12/31 1:51.15
26.43 54.89 1:23.65
8 Daisuke Hosokawa 1982/04/18 1:52.28
25.62 53.63 1:22.68

Women's 100m breaststroke FINAL(Japan record:1:07.27)
1 Masami Tanaka 1979/01/05 32.74 1:09.04
2 Sayaka Nakamura 1987/10/24 33.45 1:09.58
3 Yoshimi Miwa 1985/01/09 32.84 1:09.82
4 Yuko Sakaguchi 1979/02/20 33.81 1:10.16
5 Kahori Sato 1981/11/29 32.64 1:10.22
6 Ryoko Maruyama 1982/10/23 33.13 1:10.25
7 Manami Hotta 1989/01/17 33.32 1:10.64
8 Ayumi Shirota 1982/09/25 33.79 1:11.00

Women's 100m backstroke FINAL(Japan record:1:00.55)
1 Reiko Nakamura 1982/05/17 29.41 1:00.98
2 Noriko Inada 1978/07/27 29.56 1:01.39
3 Mai Nakamura 1979/07/16 29.61 1:01.55
4 Aya Terakawa 1984/11/12 30.07 1:01.68
5 Hanae Ito 1985/01/18 29.85 1:01.71
6 Masaki Oikawa 1984/03/29 30.26 1:02.92
7 Yoshiko Saito 1983/04/30 30.53 1:02.93
8 Nozomi Nobe 1982/07/04 30.68 1:03.00

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Author: Archive Team

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