TOKYO, Japan, June 20. SWIMMERS took a torch to the Japanese record book tonight at the Japan Open with three new national marks. The record-breaking onslaught included the oldest standard in the Japanese ledger.
Kohei Yamamoto smashed the Japanese record in the men’s 1500-meter freestyle finale with a time of 14:54.80 tonight. That performance blasted the 14:57.12 set by Yosuke Miyamoto during the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, China. It also moved Yamamoto up to third in the world with only Gregorio Paltrinieri (14:44.50) and Mack Horton (14:51.55) having faster times thus far this year. Ayatsugu Hirai placed second in the metric mile with a 15:07.27, while Ryota Watanabe claimed third overall in 15:13.62.
Satomi Suzuki followed that swim with a Japanese record of her own as she popped a 31.04 in the women’s 50-meter breast. That time beat her previous mark of 31.30 from Japanese Nationals in April of this year, and moved her up to eighth in the world rankings in the event. Maya Hamano took second in 31.43, while Miku Kanasashi placed third in 31.83.
The Japanese records continued to tumble as Miho Takahashi chased down the national record in the women’s 400-meter IM with a 4:35.69. That performance eclipsed the 4:35.96 set by Yasuko Tajima during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In fact, that was the oldest record in the Japanese long course record book. Takahashi moved up to a sixth-ranked tie with Zhou Min in the world rankings with the swim. Miyu Otsuka took second in 4:40.39 with Wakaba Tsuyuchi placing third in 4:41.66.
In one of the higher profile races of the night, Ryosuke Irie just missed his second-ranked season best in the men’s 100-meter back with a winning time of 52.69. His best this year is a 52.57 from Japanese Nationals that ranks behind only Xu Jiayu’s 42.34 from Chinese Nationals. Kosuke Hagino picked up second tonight in 53.39, off his third-ranked season best of 53.08, while Junya Koga earned third overall in 54.01.
Kohei Tominaga clipped Yuki Okajima in the men’s 50-meter breaststroke, 27.60 to 27.70, to jump to 16th in the world rankings. Meanwhile, Koichiro Okazaki finished third in the sprint breast event with a 27.73. Chihiro Igarashi picked up the women’s 200-meter free crown in 1:58.96, while Yayoi Matsumoto placed second in 2:00.44. Tomomi Aoki touched third in 2:00.97.
Takeshi Matsuda edged Reo Sakata, 1:47.73 to 1:47.99, for the men’s 200-meter freestyle title. Yuki Kobori rounded out the top three in the event with a 1:48.73. Shiho Sakai topped the women’s 100-meter backstroke in 1:00.68 with Sayaka Akase taking second in 1:00.81. Emi Moronuki earned third-place honors in 1:01.34.
In preliminary action, Chinatsu Sato topped women’s 800-meter free qualifying in 8:42.22, while Misato Iwanaga touched out Mahiro Ishi, 8:44.61 to 8:44.86 for the second seed in the distance event.