Japanese Men Turn In Fabulous Night of Swimming at Asian Games

Photo Courtesy: Tobiuo Japan

INCHEON, South Korea, September 21. Ryosuke Irie and Daiya Seto had the most impressive singular performance, while teammate Kosuke Hagino turned in a double-medal outing that included a huge win in the men’s 200 free to kick off the Asian Games tonight.


Scheduled Events

  • Men’s 200 free
  • Women’s 400 free
  • Men’s 100 back
  • Women’s 100 breast
  • Men’s 200 fly
  • Women’s 400 free relay

Medal Standings

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Men’s 200 free

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Japan’s Kosuke Hagino touched out Asian-record holder Sun Yang of China, 1:45.23 to 1:45.28, in an incredibly exciting finale that featured the entire crowd on its feet. That swim vaulted Hagino to second in the world behind only Thomas Fraser-Holmes’ 1:45.08 from the Commonwealth Games.  The time clipped Sho Uchida’s Japanese record of 1:45.24 from the 2009 World Championships.  Hagino came home in a sizzling 26.00 to overhaul Sun down the stretch.

That’s a big start for Hagino, who is undertaking a six-event schedule this week, opening with a double tonight with the 100 back later in the evening.

Meanwhile, Sun’s time jumped him from eighth in the world to fourth behind Tae Hwan Park’s 1:45.25 from the Korean Nationals.  Park settled for third overall in a fireworks-filled finale with a 1:45.85.

China’s Li Yunqi (1:49.25), Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda (1:49.64), Singapore’sKai Quan Yeo (1:49.90), Vietnam’s Quy Phuoc Hoang (1:50.42) and Taipei’s Yen Hsin Huang (1:51.08) also competed in the finale.

Top Splits

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Women’s 400 free

Although the results weren’t exactly amazingly fast, the women’s middle distance finale still proved to be exciting as the two Chinese swimmers did battle with Zhang Yuhan having just too much in the tank down the final stretch to beat teammate Bi Yirong, 4:07.67 to 4:08.23. Japan’s Chihiro Igarashi rounded out the podium with a bronze-winning time of 4:09.35.

Zhang definitely has a pedigree in this sport as both of her parents were Chinese national champions in swimming.  Tonight capped a great 2014 for Zhang following a difficult 2013 that witnessed her dislocating her collarbone during training.

Japan’s Asami Chida (4:09.64), Thailand’s Sarisa Suwannachet (4:14.61), Malaysia’s Cai Lin Khoo (4:18.13), South Korea’s Suyeon Kim (4:19.82) and Thailand’s Benjaporn Sriphanomthorn (4:22.74) closed out the finale by finishing fourth through eighth this evening.

Top Splits

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Men’s 100 back

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Japan’s Ryosuke Irie overtook China’s Xu Jiayu down the stretch to not only defend his Asian Games title but also demolish his previous Games record with a 52.34.  That swim smashed his 53.61 from the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, and tied him with Xu for the top time in the world this year.  Xu posted his 52.34 this year at the Chinese Nationals in Qingdao.  Both times are just .10 off Irie’s Asian record of 52.24 from 2009.

Xu, meanwhile, managed to take silver tonight in 52.81 after going out in a sizzling 25.35.  Japan’s Kosuke Hagino chased down bronze with a 53.71 for his second medal of the night. Hagino has been faster this year with a fourth-ranked 52.78 from the Inter-College Championships in Yokohama.

South Korea’s Seonkwan Park (54.67), Kazakhstan’s Alexandr Tarabrin (55.43), Indonesia’s Gede Siman Sudartawa (55.73), Turkmenistan’s Merdan Atayev (56.63) and South Korea’s Taejeong Im (57.07) also vied for the title.

Top Splits

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Women’s 100 breast

In a close contest, China’s Shi Jinglin overtook Japan’s Kanako Watanabe in the final 50 to win the title, 1:06.67 to 1:06.80.  Both swimmers surpassed the Asian Games record of 1:06.84 set by Luo Xuejuan back in 2002 at the Busan edition of the event.  The swim moved Shi up from 13th in the world to eighth, while Watanabe could not replicate her second-ranked time of 1:05.88 from the Japan Open.

China’s He Yun managed to take bronze with a time of 1:08.11, with Japan’s Satomi Suzuki snaring fourth in 1:08.61.

South Korea’s Minji Kwon (1:09.19), South Korea’s Jiwon Yang (1:09.79), Hong Kong’s Yvette Kong (1:10.66) and Kyrgysztan’s Daria Talanova (1:12.28) comprised the rest of the finale.

Top Splits

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Men’s 200 fly

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

No one else could touch Japan’s Daiya Seto tonight as he blasted the field with a 1:54.08. That performance nearly cleared Takeshi Matsuda’s Games record of 1:54.02 from the 2010 edition in Guangzhou.  That effort leapfrogged Chad le Clos (1:54.56) for the fastest time in the year, as Seto improved on his second-ranked 1:54.70 from the Monte Carlo stop of the Mare Nostrum.

Seto’s teammate Hirai took silver wire-to-wire with a 1:55.47 as he never could close on Seto but easily held off the rest of the field.

Singapore’s Joseph Schooling, just days into his University of Texas career, took bronze in 1:57.54 to hold off China’s Wang Pudong (1:57.80).

China’s Hao Yun (1:58.82), South Korea’s Gyucheol Chang (1:59.93), Taipei’s Chi Chieh Hsu (1:59.93) and Hong Kong’s Tin Yu Ling (2:03.24) closed out the rest of the championship heat.

Top Splits

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Women’s 400 free relay

(140819) -- Nanjing,Aug 19,2014 (Xinhua) -- Gold medalist Shen Duo of China celebrates after the women's 100m Freestyle final of swimming event of Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, on Aug. 19, 2014. (Xinhua/Ding Xu) (txt)

Photo Courtesy: Xinhua/Ding Xu

After posting a strong time this morning to dominate all of prelims, China returned with a new team as Ye Shiwen, Shen Duo, Zhang Yufei and Tang Yi won by more than two seconds with a 3:37.25.  The key leg came down to Shen’s sizzling 53.58 to put them ahead for good the rest of the way.

Shen is coming off a tremendous Youth Olympic Games, where she won four gold medals as the dominant female freestyler at the meet that took place in Nanjing.

Japan (3:39.35), Hong Kong (3:39.94), South Korea (3:45.36), Singapore (3:47.62), Thailand (3:49.79) and Taipei (3:50.66) also put up times in the finale, while Mongolia was a late scratch.

China’s Splits: 3:37.25

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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