Kanako Watanabe Among Top Qualifiers In Day 3 Prelims Of Japanese Nationals

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Photo Courtesy: Maria Dobysheva

Prelims of day three of the 2016 Japanese Nationals saw just a few number of events, all for women.

The session kicked off with the women’s 100-meter backstroke led by Miyuki Takemura’s top time of 1:00.68. Natsumi Sakai was the only other swimmer to near the Japanese Olympic standard (59.85), posting a final time of 1:00.81.

In the women’s 200-meter butterfly the field stayed close together with Nao Kobayashi edging ahead to claim the top seed. Kobayashi, who was ‘DNS’ for the event at this meet last year, was the only swimmer to finish below the 2:11 mark with a 2:10.58. The young Suzuka Hasegawa claimed second going into tonight’s semi-finals with a 2:!1.27, while Natsumi Hoshi sits at third with a 2:11.53.

Hoshi, the gold medalist in the 200 fly at the World Championships last summer, currently sits at third in the world from her previously clocked 2:06.56 at the Konami Open in February, but her 2:05.56 from Kazan last August shows just how fast she can truly be.

Eighteen-year-old Miho Teramura notched the top seed in the women’s 200-meter IM with a 2:12.51, sitting just outside of the Olympic standard of 2:11.03. Teramura’s time moves her to thirteenth in the world rankings for 2016 ahead of Sakiko Shimizu and Kanako Watanabe. 

Shimizu currently sits at fourth in the world rankings after a 2:10.51 showing at the Konami Open in February, but finished second in prelims today with a 2:13.35. Watanabe, ranked ninth with a 2:11.92 from the New South Wales State Championships, finished third with a time of 2:13.61.