Yamamoto Sets National Record on First Day of Japanese Nationals

By Takahisa Ide and Hideki Mochizuki

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN. April 19. THE first of four days of competition at the Japanese Championships/ World Championships Trials began today at the Yokohama International Pool, host pool of 2002 Pan Pacific Championships. Unlike the Trials in some other nations, the Japanese meet is being conducted under the old prelims/finals format.

With absence of strong contenders for the women's team, the main interest at poolside is focused on how many newcomers will be joining the national team for Fukuoka.

One big name missing from the heat sheets is Yasuko Tajima, 400m individual medley silver medalist in Sydney, who decided not to swim for Fukuoka. Instead, she is taking time off to focus on her studies and
rest. She wrote a letter to the federation recently saying she is not in good enough condition to swim against the world's top swimmers. She did not reveal when she will be back in competition.

Miki Nakao, bronze medalist in the 200m backstroke also expressed her desire not to swim for the the World
meet, as did Noriko Inada (fifth in the 100 back in Sydney) and Masami Tanaka (sixth in the 200m breast in Sydney), who is contemplaating studying in the US.

The World Championships roster will be announced on April 23.

Only two events were contested today. Junko Onishi and Takashi Yamamoto won the women's and men's 50 meter butterfly sprints on the first day of competion.

Onishi won the women's sprint in 27.04 while Yamamoto clocked 24.53 for the men's 50, a national record. Both are much better known as 200 meter flyers.

Maki Mita, another 200 flyer, won the women's 200m free in a solid 2:00.64 while Daisuke Hosokawa took the men's 200 in 1:50.76

Women 50m Butterfly Final
1. Junko Onishi 27.04
2. Kozue Watanabe 27.54
3. Ayari Aoyama 27.72
4. Nozomi Nakamura 27.94
5. Hitomi Kashima 28.01
6. Yuko Nakanishi 28.27
7. Saori Haruguchi 28.41
8. Ayako Doi 28.44

Men 50m Butterfly Final
1. Takashi Yamamoto 24.53 Japanese Record
2. Ryo Takayasu 24.71
3. Kazuhiro Asanuma 24.76
4. Daisuke Abe 24.80
5. Yasutake Takamatsu 25.00
6. Takashi Nishiyama 25.02
7. Shunsuke Hato 25.16
8. Katsuhiko Morita 25.26

Women 200 Freestyle Final
1. Maki Mita 2:00.64
2. Eri Yamanoi 2:00.93
3. Sachiko Yamada 2:02.53
4. Tomoko Nagai 2:02.57
5. Chihiro Mizuniwa 2:03.65
6. Akina Okura 2:03.82
7. Akari Indo 2:04.36
8. Ayako Miyata 2:04.53

Men 200 Freestyle Final
1. Daisuke Hosokawa 1:50.76
2. Hideaki Hara 1:51.00
3. Shusuke Ito 1:51.58
4. Keita Kondo 1:51.68
5. Yosuke Ichikawa 1:51.79
6. Takanori Koike 1:52.04
7. Shunsuke Ito 1:52.34
8. Ken Yamamuro 1:52.74

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