Japanese Olympic Trials: Ryosuke Irie Misses 200 Back; Satomi Suzuki Adds Second Swim

Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu / ISL

Japanese Olympic Trials: Ryosuke Irie Misses 200 Back; Satomi Suzuki Adds Second Swim

Ryosuke Irie’s bid for a fifth Olympics Games fell short in the 200 backstroke Friday at the Japanese Olympic Trials.

Irie finished third in his signature event at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, one in which he won silver in 2012. The 34-year-old was vying for his fifth Olympics but saw two of his younger colleagues qualify instead.

The win Friday went to Hidekazu Takehara, who went 1:56.28 to win. That is under Olympic A standard, as is the time of runner-up Keita Sunama of 1:57.01. Irie clocked in at 1:58.37.

It wasn’t all bad news for the veteran set at the sixth day of Japanese Olympic Trials Friday. Satomi Suzuki, who earlier booked a spot in the 100 breaststroke, also won the 200 breast. Her time of 2:23.09 assures her a second event in the Paris Games. It was a battle to get there, with plenty of experience chasing her. Runner-up Kanako Watanabe is also under the A standard in 2:23.55, with Runa Imai following in 2:23.69.

On the veteran front, Daiya Seto made it safely through the semifinals of the 200 individual medley. After falling short of his first two attempts to get to the Paris Games, which would be his third at age 29, he’s the top seed in Saturday’s final of his best event.

It won’t be easy though. He’ll need to be faster than the 1:58.33 he went on Friday, an Olympic consideration time. And he’ll have company. Tomoyuki Matushita won his semifinal heat in 1:58.40. Suo Ogata was third in 1:58.57, and Takumi Mori was fourth in 1:58.86.

Teenager Airi Mitsui is headed to her first Olympics, the 19-year-old winning the women’s 200 fly in 2:06.54. That’s well under the A cut, as is the time of runner-up Hiroko Makino, who went 2:07.61. Third was Chiho Mizuguchi in 2:08.23.

The last final of the day was the men’s 50 breaststroke, won by Hayato Watanabe in 27.44. All eight finalists broke 28 seconds.

Shinri Shioura led the way in the men’s 50 free semifinals with a time of 22.21. Koshiro Sakai was second in 22.25. They’re aiming for an A cut of 21.96.

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