By Hideki Mochizuki
HYOGO, Japan, January 24. JAPANESE distance freestyle ace, Sachiko Yamada, broke her own short course world record today in the 800 meter freestyle.
Swimming in a meet hosted by her own clubz, Konami Sports, in Nishinomiya in Hyogo prefecture, she slashed almost precisely one second off her old mark as she touched in 8:13.35. Her former record, set in April 2002, was 8:14.36.
Yamada was ahead of world record pace the entire way. When she saw her time on the electronic scoreboard, she jubilantly smashed the surface of the with her right hand shouting, "I did it!"
Yamada, who owns the long course Japanese records at 400, 800 and 1500 meters freestyle, was devastated when she failed to perform to her capability at last year's World Championships in Barcelona, failing to make a final in the three distance events.
Trying to make a comeback, it was a good motivation for her to have participated in the US Open last month, meeting again with her main competitors and winning the 400 and 800m freestyle.
After the race, Yamada commented "I am going to give it my best shot one more time in Athens."
The Japanese Nationals, which will also serve as the Olympic Trials, will take place April 20 – 25 at Tokyo's Tatsumi International Aquatic Center.