Speedo Performance of the Week, Presented by Pace Club: April 16, 2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, April 16. KOSUKE Hagino had such an incredible meet at the Japan Open last week, winning five of the six events he swam. It’s difficult to choose which of his performances stood out the most, but in the end, it’s his 200 IM that made the biggest impression on us here at Swimming World. His time of 1:55.74 not only set a Japanese and Asian record, but it brought him within nine tenths of a second of getting into the hallowed top 10 performances of all time, a list that only has two names: Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. Hagino is sixth on the list of top 10 performers, and third behind Lochte and Phelps when you count swims done only in textile suits.

Hagino’s stock has been rising steadily since last fall, and indications are that it will only continue to go higher at the world championships, where he could put himself in a position to dethrone Ryan Lochte as world champion in this event.

Congratulations, Kosuke. You’ve earned the Speedo Performance of the Week.