TATSUMI, Japan, June 22. THE always-fast Japan Open came to a close tonight with another handful of blistering times.
Yasuhiro Koseki blasted his way to second in the world in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke to close shop on the Japan Open. Koseki checked in with a 2:08.34 for the win, second only to Michael Jamieson’s 2:07.79 this year. That’s after Koseki had ranked fourth with a 2:08.87 on the Barcelona stop of the Arena Grand Prix. Akihiro Yamaguchi, the world-record holder, took second in 2:10.48, while Ippei Awatanabe finished third in 2:10.49 to move to 13th in the world. Yuta Oshikiri (2:10.55), Hayato Watanabe (2:10.88) and Daiya Seto (2:10.99) also broke 2:11 for the deepest breaststroke field in the world.
Sayaka Akase rocketed to fifth in the world rankings in the women’s 200-meter backstroke with a winning time of 2:08.76. Only four other swimmers have been faster this year with Belinda Hocking (2:06.40), Daria Ustinova (2:08.02), Meagen Nay (2:08.19) and Emily Seebohm (2:08.28) standing out ahead of Akase. Haruna Ohta finished second in 2:11.69 with Anna Konishi taking third in 2:11.88.
Hirofumi Ikebata blazed his way to fifth in the world himself with a 51.89 in the men’s 100-meter fly. Only Viacheslave Prudnikov (51.60), Nikita Konovalov (51.83), Takuro Fujii (51.84) and Steffen Deiberl (51.86) have posted faster times this year. Kosuke Hagino grabbed second in 52.11 to take 10th in the world as he continues to prove himself to be one of the most versatile swimmers in the world. Takuro Fujii placed third in 52.48.
Ryosuke Irie, already the world-leader with a 1:53.91 from Japanese Nationals, dominated the men’s 200-meter backstroke with a 1:54.63. Hayate Matubara touched second in 1:57.13 to move to 11th in the world rankings, while Kazuki Watanabe placed third in 1:58.46.
Miho Takahashi won the women’s 1500-meter freestyle with a time of 16:23.14. That swim pushed her to 13th in the world rankings. Chinatsu Sato took second in 16:36.58 to down the Japanese junior record, while Yukimi Moriyama claimed third in 16:39.38.
Kohei Yamamoto, who already ranks fifth in the world with a 7:51.88 from Japanese Nationals, cruised to victory in the men’s 800-meter freestyle tonight in 7:53.74. Yuto Sato took second in 7:57.14, just off his 14th-ranked 7:56.96, while Yohei Takiguchi wound up third in 7:58.66.
Rie Kaneto snatched the women’s 200-meter breaststroke title in 2:22.73. That’s a second off her third-ranked season best of 2:21.58. Mio Motegi earned second in 2:25.37 to move to 16th in the world rankings, while Runa Imai placed third in 2:26.00. During prelims, Reona Aoki clocked a 2:25.82 to rank 16th in the world.
Miki Uchida rattled the Japanese record in the women’s 50-meter free with a 25.23 for the win. That’s just off Sumika Minamoto’s 25.14 from the 2001 Japanese Nationals, one of the oldest records in the books for Japan. Misaki Yamaguchi took second in 25.56, while Yayoi Matsumoto earned third in 25.65.
Kenta Ito topped the men’s 50-meter freestyle with a time of 22.36, while Yuki Kawachi raced to second in 22.61. Katsumi Nakamura rounded out the top three in 22.63. Natsumi Hoshi clinched the women’s 100-meter fly crown in 58.56 with Tomoyo Fukuda placing second in 59.45. Miyu Nakano touched third in 59.48.