Ippei Watanabe Wins 200 Breast Title In Front Of Home Crowd; Andrew Wilson Scratches

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

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Japan has been one of the historic powerhouses in the 200 breast, and on Sunday night in Tokyo at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, Japan continued that dominance with a gold from world record holder Ippei Watanabe. He missed his world record, but was still quick enough for gold at 2:07.75, breaking the meet record that Josh Prenot set in the heats at 2:08.02.

Watanabe held off a serious challenge from the Australian duo of Zac Stubblety-Cook (2:07.89) and Matthew Wilson (2:08.22). Wilson was leading through 150 meters and Stubblety-Cook split a 32.14 over the last 50. Stubblety-Cook had a huge time drop, moving up to tied for 19th all-time with Australian legend Brenton Rickard from 2009.

It was a very tight battle as Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki (2:08.25) and American Josh Prenot (2:08.44) finished off the podium in the very tight final.

Koseki will be swimming breaststroke for Japan on their medley relay in a few minutes as he is the only one to do the double. American Andrew Wilson scratched the final here to focus on being his best for the medley relay.

China’s Wang Lizhuo (2:11.49), Liu Yunsong (2:12.27) and Canada’s Eli Wall (2:13.56) also swam in the championship final.

2018 World Rankings:

  1. Anton Chupkov, RUS, 2:06.80
  2. Josh Prenot, USA, 2:07.28
  3. Ippei Watanabe, JPN, 2:07.56
  4. Zac Stubblety-Cook, AUS, 2:07.89
  5. James Wilby, GBR, 2:08.05
  6. Matthew Wilson, AUS, 2:08.22
  7. Yasuhiro Koseki, JPN, 2:08.25
  8. Ross Murdoch, GBR, 2:08.32
  9. Kirill Prigoda, RUS, 2:08.32

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