Japanese International Swimming Competitions Selection Trial: Three National Records, Three World Bests On Day One

HAMAMATSU, Japan, April 9. AFTER having to cancel the Japanese Long Course Championships due to the catastrophic earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the Japanese Swimming Federation has still managed to put together an International Swimming Competitions Selection Trial in Hamamatsu.

Yosuke Miyamoto became the first Japanese man under 15:00 in the men's 1500 free with a winning time of 14:57.56. That swim eclipsed the 15:04.91 set by Ryoji Sononaka back in 2009, and put Miyamoto second to Sun Yang in the world rankings this year. Yohei Takiguchi took second in 15:14.91, while Junpei Higashi placed third in 15:16.11.

Natsumi Hoshi dropped the national record in the women's 200 fly with a victorious 2:06.05. That performance cleared the 2:06.38 set by Yuko Nakanishi back in 2008, and put Hoshi into fourth in the world rankings this year. Yuka Katou took second in 2:09.83, while Natsuki Hirose finished third in 2:11.16.

Haruka Ueda chimed in with a 1:57.37 in the women's 200 free, breaking the national record by the slimmest of margins. Ueda owned the previous Japanese standard with a 1:57.38 set at the 2009 World Championships. Hanae Ito earned second in 1:58.42, while Yayoi Matsumoto finished third in 1:59.39.

Takeshi Matsuda turned in the top-ranked time in the world this year in the men's 200 fly with a 1:54.12. That swim beat out Michael Phelps' 1:55.34 from the Indy Grand Prix. Ryusuke Sakata took second tonight in 1:55.11, also clearing Phelps' previous bellwether mark. Hidemasa Sano grabbed third in 1:56.33 for a spot in the top 10 rankings.

Aya Terakawa rattled her national record in the women's 100 back with a top-ranked time of 59.17. That effort just missed her 2010 record time of 59.13, but finished well ahead of Belinda Hockings' short-lived pacesetting time of 59.55 from earlier this week in Australia. Shiho Sakai finished second in 1:00.03, while Hanae Ito earned third in 1:01.31.

Kosuke Kitajima jumped to the top of the world rankings in the men's 100 breast with a triumphant time of 59.44. That swim beat out Yuta Suenaga's 59.93 from Tokyo in February, and is only the second time under 1:00 this year. Ryo Tateishi earned second in 1:00.31, while Naoya Tomita took third in 1:00.93. Notably, Akihiro Yamaguchi downed the national high school record with a fifth-place 1:01.17.

Ryosuke Irie moved to second in the world rankings in the men's 100 back with a 53.10. Only Camille Lacourt has been faster with a 52.44 from France in March. Junya Koga took second in 54.39, while Masafumi Yamaguchi wound up third in 54.47.

Maiko Fujino won the women's 800 free title in 8:35.59, while Asami Chida touched second in 8:37.19. Yumi Kida placed third in 8:41.30. Yuuki Kobori topped the men's 200 free in 1:48.15, while Syo Uchida placed second in 1:48.18. Syo Sotodate rounded out the top three in 1:48.65.

Satomi Suzuki captured the women's 100 breast title in 1:07.68, while Kanako Watanabe bettered the junior national record with a second-place 1:07.99. Keiko Fukudome placed third in 1:08.67.