Olympic Finalist Yasuhiro Koseki Announces Retirement

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Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu / ISL

Olympic Finalist Yasuhiro Koseki Announces Retirement

Japanese swimmer Yasuhiro Koseki, who made three Olympic finals at the 2016 Olympics, announced his retirement from swimming on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old made the announcement on Instagram. He cited arm surgery to repair a long-nagging injury in March that hadn’t cleared up by the late summer, at which point he came down with an illness. The wear and tear, mental and physical, told him it was time to move on.

 

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A post shared by 小関 也朱篤 (@yasuhiro_koseki)

Koseki put together an impressive Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio, just missing out on a medal. He qualified second fastest in prelims in both breaststroke events. But he finished sixth in the 100 in 59.37 seconds, a half-second behind the time Cody Miller used for bronze. In the 200, he went 2:07.80, good for fifth and just a tenth of a second off the bronze-winning time of Anton Chupkov. That final was legendarily jumped, with 0.88 seconds separating the eight finalists. (And of which winner Dmitriy Balandin also recently announced his retirement.)

Koseki also swam on Japan’s fifth-placed 400 medley relay at those Games.

He did not swim at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, a victim of the intense depth in the Japanese program in that stroke, following on the heels of Kosuke Kitajima’s dominant decade in the pool. Ryuya Mura and Shoma Sato swam in both breaststroke events in Tokyo, only Mura (seventh in the 200) making a final.

Koseki signaled his ascent by sweeping the breaststroke events at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. He won the 100 breast again in 2018. He had also won gold in the 100 breast at the 2013 World University Games. After the Olympics, he won silver in the 200 breast at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest.

Koseki totaled six medals (three gold) at Pan Pacs. He added nine medals (three gold) at the Asian Games and a pair of bronze medals at the Short Course World Championships in 2018. Koseki also swam in the International Swimming League, a founding member of the Tokyo Frog Kings. He won two races in the 2020 season and five in the 2021 season.

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