Yui Ohashi Hits 4:36 400 IM at Japan Open

Yui Ohashi
Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

The 2021 Japan Open continued Friday from the Tokyo Olympic Aquatic Center with some solid February swims out of Japan’s best swimmers. This meet has marked the return of multi-World champ Daiya Seto from suspension as he won the 400 IM on day one. In the women’s 400 IM on day two, Worlds medalist Yui Ohashi won with a 4:36.27 ahead of Sakiko Shimizu (4:38.68).


The time for Ohashi is quicker than what she was a couple weeks ago at the Kitajima Cup with her 4:37 as she is progressing towards a possible home Olympics where she is a medal favorite in this event. In the early days of 2021, she and Shimizu are the only swimmers to break 4:40 this year.

Another Worlds medalist, Katsuhiro Matsumoto, showed out well on Friday with a 1:46.82 in the final of the 200 free. Japan has a medal contending 4×200 free relay as Naito Ehara (1:48.30), Yuki Ikari (1:48.59) and Yuki Kobori (1:48.74) followed him in second through fourth. That’s not the full scope of Japan’s 200 freestyle scene right now but Ehara and Kobori were both on Japan’s bronze medal winning team in Rio so they have the experience.

Ryosuke Irie, now at age 31, knocked out a 53.29 in the 100 back final to show why he is still one of the best backstrokers in the world. Irie has the top time in the world, improving on his 53.31 from last month. He won comfortably ahead of Ryota Naito (54.61).

Natsumi Sakai was the lone swimmer under a minute in the women’s 100 back field with a 59.98 ahead of Anna Konishi (1:00.63), while Chihiro Igarashi won the women’s 200 free at 1:58.14 ahead of Waka Kobori (1:59.45) and Tomomi Aoki (1:59.46).

Other winners on the night were Shogo Takeda in the 1500 (15:06.71), Reona Aoki in the women’s 50 breast (30.81) and Yoshiki Yamanaka in the men’s 50 breast (27.40).