Natsumi Sakai Leads 1-2 With Anna Konishi In 100 Back At Asian Games

natsumi-sakai-
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Japan got a 1-2 finish out of 17-year-old Natsumi Sakai (59.27) and 22-year-old Anna Konishi (59.67) in the 100 back final on Wednesday night at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. Sakai swam faster than she did at Pan Pacs earlier in the month as she put herself in the top eight for the Virtual World Championships this year.

Sakai is one of Japan’s stars for the future as they have a young women’s team that could be dangerous come two years from now at the Olympics in their home country. Sakai was the World Junior Champion last summer in the 50 back and the 17-year-old is a part of a young core of teenage backstrokers with American Regan Smith and Australian Kaylee McKeown that could do damage in the next few years.

China’s Chen Jie (1:00.28) finished in third with the bronze medal, shutting out defending champion Fu Yuanhui of China. Fu was fourth at 1:00.35.

Korea’s Im Dasol (1:01.08), Hong Kong’s Kwan Wong (1:02.12), Korea’s Shin Youngyeon (1:02.84) and Uzbekistan’s Yulduz Kuchkarova (1:03.21) also placed in the final.

  1. Natsumi Sakai, JPN, 59.27
  2. Anna Konishi, JPN, 59.67
  3. Chen Jie, CHN, 1:00.28
  4. Fu Yuanhui, CHN, 1:00.35
  5. Im Dasol, KOR, 1:01.08
  6. Kwan Wong, HKG, 1:02.12
  7. Shin Youngyeon, KOR, 1:02.84
  8. Yulduz Kuchkarova, UZB, 1:03.21

2018 Virtual World Championships

  1. Kylie Masse, CAN, 58.61, Pan Pacs
  2. Emily Seebohm, AUS, 58.66, Commonwealth Games
  3. Kathleen Baker, USA, 58.83, Pan Pacs
  4. Regan Smith, USA, 58.95, Pan Pacs
  5. Taylor Ruck, CAN, 58.97, Commonwealth Games
  6. Anastasia Fesikova, RUS, 59.19, Europeans
  7. Kaylee McKeown, AUS, 59.25, Pan Pacs
  8. Natsumi Sakai, JPN, 59.27, Asian Games