Shoma Sato Breaks World Junior Record in 200 Breast

Photo Courtesy: FINA / Budapest 2019

Japan’s Shoma Sato broke the world junior record in the 200 breast on Sunday at the Japanese College Swimming Championships in Tokyo. Sato broke the record with a 2:09.21, splitting a 1:02.14 on the first 100 as he lowered the old junior record of 2:09.39 from China’s Qin Haiyang set in 2017.

Sato rattled the record earlier this year when he was a 2:09.42 at the Japan Open in 2019. He was a favorite to win the gold at the World Juniors a couple weeks ago but was out-touched at the finish by USA’s Josh Matheny, who won the gold at 2:09.40 to Sato’s 2:09.56.

Sato, who turns 19 in February, now sits 24th in the world rankings and is the fourth fastest man in Japan this year behind Ippei Watanabe (2:06.73), Yasuhiro Koseki (2:08.05) and Kazuki Kohinata (2:08.42).

FINA started keeping track of world junior records in 2014 so any times before then from juniors do not count as official world junior records. Oddly enough, the fastest junior ever is from Japan’s Akihiro Yamaguchi, who broke the world record at 2:07.01 in 2012.