Ryosuke Irie Talks About “Disappointing” 200 Back Final At Pan Pacs In Video Interview

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GOLD COAST, Australia, August 29. COMING in as the top-ranked swimmer in the world in the 200 backstroke, Ryosuke Irie was a strong contender for gold in the 200 backstroke at the Pan Pacific championships. But the Japanese star fell short with a silver medal behind Tyler Clary in a race that he called “disappointing” when talking with the media after accepting his medal.

In the video player below, you can watch Irie’s interview with the media, conducted completely in Japanese. We know many of you do not know Japanese, so we asked Takahisa Ide to translate for us, and a transcript of the interview is provided below.

Irie: During the 200 backstroke prelims, I felt great. After the prelims, I tried to change my speed and race patterns. But in the final I did not have good race speed.

I did not watch my race video. I think my strokes were not good. I am very disappointed with this swim. I will try for a better performance tomorrow (in the medley relay).

Reporter: Why was the last 50 meters not as good as it was at Japanese nationals?

Irie: I don’t know why the last 50 was not as good as nationals. This season, I was very good in races all the time, so I am so disappointed. I want to try to be a better race in the Asian Games in the last 50 of my 200 back. This year, I want to be the first-ranked in the world in the 200 back. (Editor’s note: Irie is already No. 1 in the world in the 200 backstroke, with a 1:53.91 from nationals in April.)

Reporter: What do you think about the 200 back final?

Irie: I think this year, the 100 back was better than my 200 back. The last 50 of the 200 back was not faster as it has been the last couple of years.

Reporter: Why was the last 50 not better than prelims?

Irie: I don’t know why I could not be faster.

Reporter: At Japanese nationals in the 200 back, you said you could not hold the water in the last 50 and your tempo was going faster…

Irie: I tried the same tempo in this race (at Pan Pacs). I did not watch my race yet. I cannot say anything more, but I think it was not a good race this time.

Reporter: Do you think you were feeling OK (before the race)?

Irie: I felt very cold and the pool conditions were different. I wanted a better race but it did not happen. I think this time I could have gotten a gold medal but I am disappointed.