Veterans Tomoru Honda, Ippei Watanabe Qualify at Japanese Trials; Daiya Seto Third in 200 Fly

Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

Veterans Tomoru Honda, Ippei Watanabe Qualify at Japanese Trials; Daiya Seto Third in 200 Fly

Veterans Tomoru Honda and Ippei Watanabe were among four booking their tickets to the Paris Olympics on Thursday at the Japanese Olympic Trials. Not among that list was veteran Daiya Seto, though.

Honda finished second in the men’s 200 butterfly at the Tokyo Aquatic Center. His time of 1:54.18 was well under the Olympic A cut, but he finished second in the race to Genki Terakado. Terakado, 20, went 1:54.07 to win. He was 1.07 seconds behind entering the final 50 before roaring home to get the win.

Honda won the World Championship in this event in Doha last month after bronze medals in each of the last two Worlds. He is the reigning Olympic silver medalist.

Their fast swims left Seto in third. His time of 1:55.40 was under the A cut. Japan had five swimmers under that mark, with Takumi Terada fourth in 1:55.45 and Riku Tanbo in 1:55.67.

Seto was second in Monday’s 400 individual medley but short of the Olympic A cut in 4:10.84. He has the 200 IM remaining.

Watanabe coasted to his third Olympics by winning the 200 breast in 2:06.94. He faced a challenge from Yu Hanaguruma all the way but stayed in front the whole way. Hanaguruma booked his Paris spot with a time of 2:07.07.

Third was Yamato Fukasawa, well under the A cut but in the unlucky placement at 2:07.75.

Elsewhere in the meet’s fifth day, Rikako Ikee picked up a win in the 100 free with a time of 54.15 seconds. That’s short of the Olympic A cut, but it solidifies for the leukemia survivor a cornerstone place on the Japan 400 free relay in Paris. Second was Nagisa Ikemoto in 54.20. Yume Jinno followed in 54.84, then Shiho Matsumoto in 55.07.

Katsuhiro Matsumoto won the men’s 100 free final in a time of 48.28 seconds, which is under the Olympic A cut of 48.34. Kaiya Seko was second in 48.83, outside the B standard. He was followed by Juran Mizohata in 48.98 and Katsumi Nakamura in 48.99. Japan has a men’s 400 free relay in Paris.

Other winners include Airi Ebina in the women’s 1,500 in 16:07.00, which is under the A standard by two seconds. Yukimi Moriyama was second in an Olympic B cut of 16:12.72. Miki Takahashi finished the session by winning the 50 backstroke. Her time was .03 ahead of Miri Sasaki.

In the night session’s semifinals, Shuichi Takehara threw down a fast 200 back time to go 1:56.63 and take the top seed. He’ll show down with Ryosuke Irie, who won the first of two semifinals in 1:58.22. They’ll be looking for an A cut of 1:57.50. Off her outstanding 100 breast, Satomi Suzuki is the top seed in the 200 with a time of 2:24.59. It’s a crowded final, with Kanako Watanabe having gone 2:25.05 and Runa Imai third in 2:25.39. Airi Mitsui was right on the A standard to lead the field in the women’s 200 fly in 2:08.42.

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