Fast qualifying times and three new Japanese national records highlighted the 2017 Japanese Championships as Rikako Ikee, Yasuhiro Koseki, and Satomi Suzuki earned Olympic berths.
Men’s 1500 Free
The second day of the Japanese Championships kicked off with the longest freestyle event on the schedule. Kouhei Yamamoto claimed victory in the event with a 15:03.90, a time that falls well beneath the FINA ‘A’ qualifying standard of 15:12.79, but is just shy of Japan’s consideration time of 15:01.18.
Second in the event was Syogo Takeda with a 15:06.13, while Shingo Nakaya was third with a 15:12.15.
Women’s 50 Breast
Satomi Suzuki, a triple medalist from the 2012 Olympics, posted a 30.66 to post the only time beneath 31 seconds, and take down the former national record of 30.83. Suzuki’s time sits well beneath the FINA ‘A’ Qualifying time of 31.22 and the Japanese qualifying time of 30.82.
Kanako Watanabe clocked a time of 31.34 for the silver medal, followed by Miho Taramura’s 31.60.
Men’s 50 Breast
The record-breaking swims continued into the men’s 50 breast, where Yasuhiro Koseki uncorked a 27.23 to take down Kosuke Kitajima’s national record of 27.30. Koseki’s time sits well beneath the FINA ‘A’ qualifying time of 27.51 and the Japanese qualifying time of 27.37, qualifying him for Worlds.
Masaki Niiyama grabbed the silver medal with a 27.59, followed by Kouichirou Okazaki in 27.66.
Women’s 400 IM
The records continued breaking as Yui Ohhashi delivered a sizzling 4:31.42 to grab the gold in the women’s 400 IM. With her finish, Ohhashi qualifies for the World Championships and blasts to the top of the world rankings, sitting close to four seconds ahead of Mireia Belmonte’s 4:35.01. Ohhashi’s time downs the previous national record of 4:34.66, set by 2016 Olympian Sakiko Shimizu at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Shimizu posted a second place finish of 4:37.52, also beneath the FINA ‘A’ qualifying time of 4:43.06 and the Japanese qualifying time of 4:38.81, while Miho Takahashi was third with a 4:39.26.
Women’s 200 Free
Japanese sprint star Rikako Ikee delivered a solid 1:57.07 to win gold and qualify for the Worlds team well beneath FINA ‘A’ qualifying time of 1:58.68 and Japanese qualifying time of 1:57.28. Ikee is the current record holder with a 1:56.33, set earlier this year, and sits at fourth in the world rankings.
Chihiro Igarashi posted a 1:57.67 for the silver, falling just shy of the Japanese qualifying time of 1:57.28, while third went to Tonomi Aoki with a 1:58.33.
Men’s 200 Free
Kosuke Hagino cruised to victory in the men’s 200 free with a 1:47.29. His time sits beneath the FINA ‘A’ qualifying time of 1:47.73, but fell short of the Japanese qualifying time of 1:46.66. While many may seem disappointed with Hagino’s final time, it is only the second meet the Olympian has participated in since undergoing endoscopic surgery last fall.
Finishing second overall was Naito Ehara with a time of 1:47.57, followed by Katshuhrio Matsumoto’s 1:47.59.
Women’s 100 Back
The women’s 100 back produced less exciting events with no athletes posting times beneath the one minute mark. The race for the podium, however, was close as the top three swimmers posted time .01 seconds apart from gold-to-silver and silver-to-bronze. Anna Konishi claimed a narrow victory with a 1:00.72, followed by Miyuki Takemura’s 1:00.73.
Natsumi Sakai rounded out the top three with a 1:00.74.
Men’s 100 Back
Ryosuke Irie delivered a top time of 53.46 to earn the gold in the men’s 100 back and slide beneath the FINA ‘A’ qualifying time of 54.06 and the Japanese qualifying time of 53.77. Irie’s time moves him to fourth in the world.
Masaki Kaneko finished second overall with a 53.80, while Takeshi Kawamoto was third with a 54.10.