Ippei Watanabe Posts Another 2:07 To Close 2019 Japan Open

Photo Courtesy: Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 Japan Open closed today with some more top notch swims, including a sub-2:08 200 breaststroke from world record holder Ippei Watanabe. The 22-year-old hit the wall in 2:07.87 to dominate the race, less than a second off of his top-ranked 2:07.02 from April. Given his consistentcy in this race this year, it is hard not to have him as the favorite heading into Worlds this summer.


Yui Ohashi continued her strong meet with another win the 100 fly, this time in a personal best time of 57.83. Ohashi has already posted wins in the 200 and 400 IM in addition to the 200 fly, continuing to show she is one of the most versatile swimmers in the world right now. Olympian

Kanako Watanabe also put up a strong swim in the women’s 200 breast, clocking a 2:23.65 for a season-best that was just a few tenths short of Japan’s qualifying standard for Worlds this summer. Watanabe was the 2015 World Champion in the 200 breast.

Rika Omoto and Shinri Shioura both came away with gold in the 50 free. Omoto won in 25.02, just .01 off her season-best but still well off the qualifying time necessary for the Japanese Worlds team for this summer. Shioura, who broke the national record in the 50 at the Japan Swim in April, was the winner here again in 21.91, which was also a few tenths off of the qualifying time necessary for Worlds.

Veteran Ryosuke Irie followed up on his win in the 100 back with a win in the 200, clocking a 1:56.82. That was a little more than a second off of his season best of 1:55.70 from April. Rio Shirai, who won the 200 free earlier in the meet, was also victorious in the 200 back, clocking a personal best time of 2:08.88 that was just a tenth shy of the Japan Federation’s qualifying time for Worlds.

Also in the pool tonight was Joe Schooling, who improved on his silver medal performance in the 50 fly by finishing first in the 100 fly in a season best of 52.00.

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