Japanese Short Course National Championships: Daiya Seto, Ryosuke Irie, Kosuke Kitajima Set National Records

TOKYO, Japan, February 26. DURING the first day of the two-day Japanese Short Course National Championships, a trio of national records took a tumble.

Daiya Seto set the first national record of the night with a 4:04.28 in the men's 400 IM. That performance beat his previous national mark of 4:04.66. Kosuke Hagino touched second in 4:04.89, while Syo Uchida finished third in 4:05.59.

Ryosuke Irie took down his national standard in the men's 200 back with a 1:49.78. That time knocked down his previous best of 1:49.92. Kazuki Watanabe placed second in 1:52.46, while Yuuki Shirai touched third in 1:53.42.

Kosuke Kitajima downed the third national record of the evening with a 57.34 in the men's 100 breast. He clipped the previous mark of 57.35 set by Yuta Suenaga. Suenaga finished second to Kitajima tonight in 57.67, while Naoya Tomita wound up third in 58.36.

"It makes me feel good, but what I wanted to do today is to swim well," Kitajima told Swimming World. "Even breaking the Japanese record by a hundredth of second, that brought a certain excitement in the stand which is good. Today was confirmation that training and general condition are on track. But in detail, I got stuck during the race in terms of rhythm.

"Short course race is difficult to handle," Kitajima continued. "Turn and following underwater action add speed but once you lose rhythm, you cannot get them back. In that sense, today's race was not satisfactory. When you had a really good race, you would not feel even tired, but I feel that I gave it all. Which means that I still need to work on the endurance side more. I'm not completely confident for tomorrow's 200. Good thing is that there is sharpness in body, so I just need to relax a little bit more for tomorrow. Like you see, it is very difficult to win breaststroke competition in Japan today so again, I want to go back to USA having a good competition with rivals here tomorrow."

Shiho Sakai claimed the women's 50 back title in 26.81, while Miyuki Takemura finished second in 27.00. Yurie Degawa touched third in 27.90. Sakai doubled up with a 2:02.15 to win the women's 200 back. Sayaka Akase (2:02.54) and Marie Kamimura (2:04.60) took second and third.

Takuro Fujii gave the men's 100 IM national record a run with a winning time of 52.67, while Yuuma Kosaka placed second in 53.90. Yoshiki Ishida earned third in 54.92. In an exciting finish, Tomoyo Fukuda touched out Misaki Yamaguchi, 1:00.33 to 1:00.36, in the women's 100 IM. Asami Kitagawa placed third in 1:00.50.

Hanae Ito topped the women's 200 free in 1:56.59, while Risa Sekine finished second in 1:56.68. Miori Itou picked up third-place honors in 1:56.92. Syogo Hihara followed up with a 1:43.88 to win the men's 200 free. Syunsuke Kuzuhara took second in 1:44.03, while Syo Sotodate turned in a 1:45.09 for third.

Junya Koga grabbed the men's 50 back crown in 23.58 with Masafumi Yamaguchi taking second in 24.28. Syohei Uchida wound up third in 24.31. Satomi Suzuki picked up the women's 100 breast title in 1:06.17. Kanako Watanabe (1:06.31) and Mina Matsushima (1:06.35) rounded out the podium.

Rino Hosoda captured the women's 50 fly in 26.15 to break the junior national record, while Saki Satou touched second in 26.38. Kaho Nagai picked up third in 26.47. Kohei Kawamoto won the men's 50 fly in 22.99 with Takashi Tomiyama (23.15) and Ryo Takayasu (23.20) rounding out the top three.

In the distance freestyle events, Misato Iwanaga snared the women's 800 free in 8:26.79, while Miho Takahasi (8:27.65) and Chika Yonenaga (8:29.93) took second and third. Youhei Takiguchi picked up the men's 1500 free title in 14:39.23, just missing the national record. Junpei Higashi (14:43.79) and Daisuke Doi (14:47.04) made up the rest of the podium.

Miki Uchida just missed a national record of her own in the women's 50 free with a 24.92. An Yumoto (25.10) and Tomoko Hagiwara (25.14) took second and third. Kenta Ito topped the men's 50 free in 21.66. Kazuhisa Hotta (21.87) and Makoto Itou (21.96) earned second and third.

Izumi Katou picked up the women's 400 IM title in 4:32.76. Wakaba Hashiguchi took second in 4:33.39, while Kyouka Suenaga placed third in 4:33.54.

Natsuki Hirose won the women's 200 fly in 2:07.44, while Kei Hoshiba earned second in 2:08.02. Ayano Nishi touched third in 2:08.31. Hidemasa Sano touched out Takeshi Matsuda, 1:50.80 to 1:50.96, in the men's 200 fly. Kazuya Kaneda earned third in 1:51.91.

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