Hagino Breaks Two Japanese Records; Women Start Slow But Finish Strong on Day 3 of Japanese Nationals

  72 Braden Keith | April 12th, 2014 | Asia, Featured, International, News

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The 2014 Japanese National Championships in Tokyo saw their 3rd day on Saturday. While this day was more up-and-down than the first two, a pair of Japanese Records (one of which was also an Asian Record) from Kosuke Hagino left excitement in the air at the Tatsumi International Swim Center.

A reminder of the Pan Pacs qualifying standards can be found here.

Women’s 800 Free – FINALS

The Japanese women lost a lot of momentum at the end of Friday’s finals session, where they had only a single qualifier in the last two individual events of the day.

When Saturday’s finals rolled around, things didn’t look much better, though the opening women’s 800 free wasn’t a total loss. There, Chida Asami won in 8:36.92 to be the lone qualifier for Pan Pacs. Of course, an 8:36 really isn’t much of a time, however it is two seconds faster than she was to win this race last year, and most of the field was faster than last year.

Last year’s top 4: 38/43/44/46
This year’s top 4: 36/40/43/43

It’s really quite strange what has happened to this Japanese women’s distance group since 2012. At Japan’s 2012 Olympic Trials, an 8:36 would’ve only placed 8th, as compared to this year where it won. It’s not as though that top 7 in 2012 were old – nobody in that race is older than 24 right now (and a couple are still teenagers), yet the quality just has disappeared.

Women’s 50 Back – FINALS

The 2nd race of the night was also a women’s race, and much as they struggled in the 100 back on Friday, this 50 wasn’t much better. Miyuki Takemura won in 28.32, followed by 36-year old Noriko Inada (28.42) and Emi Mornuki (28.57).

Unfortunately, none of those top three swimmers were under the qualifying standard, so none have initially qualified for Pan Pacs. At this point of Saturday’s session, the last four women’s races had seen only two qualifiers, which is contrast to the nearly-full lineups earlier in the meet.

Men’s 50 Back – FINALS

Things really started to take off on Saturday evening when two of Japan’s all-time great backstrokers went 1-2 in the men’s 50 backstroke. Junya Koga took the gold in 24.68 and Ryosuke Irie took 2nd in 24.86, both of which fall under the qualifying standard.

That’s a second solid backstroke swim for Irie in this meet, and with how fast Kosuke Hagino has looked in the longer races this week (more on him later in this session), the 200 could be the battle-of-the-meet.

Men’s 400 Free – FINALS

Speaking of Kosuke Hagino, he began his day with a 3:43.90 in the men’s 400 freestyle, which earns him plenty of superlatives and accolades. For starters, it launches him to 2nd in the World Rankings this year. That’s a World Ranking that so far looks as though it might be a gauntlet over the summer for Hagino, as most of the top 10 (with two Brits being the exception) will race at the Pan Pacs.

2013 Canadian Swimmer of the year Ryan Cochrane (photo: Mike Lewis, Ola Vista Photography)

2014 LCM Men 400 Free TYR World Ranking

RyanCAN
COCHRANE
07/24
3.43.46
2David
McKEON
AUS3.43.7204/01
3Kosuke
HAGINO
JPN3:43.9004/12
4Tae Hwan
PARK
KOR3.43.9602/27
5James
GUY
GBR3.44.5807/24
View Top 51»

What’s more, that’s a new Japanese National Record, breaking his own 3:44.82 set at the World Championships last summer. Hagino’s versatility is just incredible.

He was way out in front of the field in this one, turning in 1:51.50 en route to that swim. That 200-meter split is actually very similar to the split of James Guy, who broke the British Record on Thursday. Those two won’t get to match up this summer, but if these two swims were superimposed upon each other, they’d look something like this:

  • Guy (Britain): 54.02 — 1:51.87 — 2:49.06 == 3:45.15
  • Hagino (Japan): 53.66 — 1:51.50 — 2:48.47 == 3:43.90

Guy really did good work on the back half of his 400, which highlights just how fast Hagino came home in this race.

Women’s 200 Fly – FINALS

The Japanese women sprang to life in the 200 fly; according to our World Rankings editor Shannon MacDonald, the entire A and B finals jumped into the World’s top 50 after this event.

At the top of that heap was a 2:05.98 from Natsumi Hoshi, that jumped her to the head of the World Rankings in 2014. There’s still a few swimmers around with championships yet to go (the Chinese at their Nationals, Katinka Hosszu at Maria Lenk in a week) who could unseat her before the big international meets start this summer, but that’s a good leadup swim for Hoshi going into Pan Pacs. She typically hits the second taper very well.

2014 LCM Women 200 Fly TYR World Ranking

NatsumiJPN
HOSHI
04/12
2.05.98
2Mireia
BELMONTE GARCIA
ESP2.06.3304/10
3Liliana
SZILAGYI
HUN2.06.5908/19
4Cammile
ADAMS
USA2.06.6108/21
5Judit
IGNACIO SORRIBES
ESP2.06.7904/10
View Top 51»

In 2nd place was 14-year old Haruno Itou in 2:09.88. The young swimmer was behind Hoshi most of the way, but put in context of her age, she had a very good first 150 meters before falling off on the home-stretch. She’s got a bright, bright future ahead of her.

Yai Watanabe took 3rd in 2:10.19, followed by Kona Fujita in 2:10.33.

Men’s 200 Fly – FINALS

Daiya Seto won the men’s 200 fly in 1:54.84 with a come-from-behind victory over Kenta Hirai (1:55.27). Those two will both move into the top 5 in the world rankings as well.

Hirai led almost this entire race, until the last 30 meters or so where Seto surged passed him

Placing 3rd was Masato Sakai in 1:56.26, and Kou Fukaya was 4th in 1:56.35.

In a continuing theme of this men’s meet, the young is pushing out the veterans in Japanese swimming (don’t be surprised if we see a mass retirement in Japan this summer). The two-time Olympic bronze medalist Takeshi Matsuda, now 29-years old, took 5th in 1:56.94. That’s still a very good time (he might even have made the U.S. Worlds team with it last summer), but the depth in front of him isn’t going anywhere.

Women’s 200 IM – FINALS

Kanako Watanabe looked great in the 100 breaststroke final earlier in this meet, but that hasn’t hindered her transition over to a world-class IM’er, either. The 17-year old won the 200 IM in 2:11.04, beating out Miho Teramura, who was 2:11.62.

This was a fun race to watch, as the two are very similar IM’ers. Teramura is a little bit better on the backstroke, Watanabe is a little bit better on the breaststroke, but despite the back-and-forth, nobody made much headway until the closing freestyle leg.

Both they and 3rd-place finish Sakiko Shimizu (winner of the 400 IM) in 2:12.87 were under the Pan Pacs qualifying standard. Miho Takahashi took 4th in 2:12.95, and 14-year old Hiroko Makino was 5th in 2:13.24 – which is a new Japanese Age Record.

Men’s 200 IM – FINALS

Closing the session with not just an exclamation but a thunderbolt, Kosuke Hagino won the men’s 200 IM in a new Japanese and Asian Record of 1:55.38. That improves upon his 1:55.74 that he swam to win this race last year.

As discussed on Thursday after a great 400 IM swim, though, Hagino struggled in this 200 IM to improve last year after the Japanese Championships as well, so a challenge still remains even though he looks like a favorite for gold at the Pan Pac Championships.

Hiromasa Fujimori took 2nd in 1:57.77, and Daiya Seto took 3rd in 1:57.92.

Full meet results after 3 days are available here. Note that they are in reverse order of event swim.

Comments

  1. Rafael says:
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    Hagino showing he is the best overall swimmer of the world right now..

    But braden.. the ranking is incorrect.. it is 3:43:90.. on the ranking it was written 3:42.. he stands behind McKeon

    Amazing 200 fly by Seto..

    Tomorrow wanna see how good Imai can go at 200 breast..

  2. bobo gigi says:
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    Hagino is very impressive but if he wants to win world or olympic gold medals, he has to lighten his line-up and focus on the 200 IM/400 IM double.

    • Philip Johnson says:
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      His times in the 200 and 400 free aren’t far off to making the medal podium. I say he sticks to his program, it’s amazing to watch.

      • Rafael says:
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        But doing 400 free on the same day of 400 IM would hurt him bad… and he would probably not win either if he tries that.. better one gold than 2 silvers..

        • aswimfan says:
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          If Rio schedule follows London, this is the schedule that Hagino may pursue if he does not greedy (I’d still do away with 200 free but Hagino will surely swim the prestigious event at the Olympics):

          Day 1: 400 IM and should regretfully do away with 400 free. His chances to win 400 IM is better than 400 free. Not saying Kalisz etc will be easy who will be very very tough, but at least will be roughly equal. Sun Yang is a different animal. You’ve won 400 free worlds silver, it’s time to win 400 IM gold at the big meet.

          Day 2 and 3: 200 free over 100 back (unless he gets greedy again and swim both in both days). 200 free because it is a more prestigious event. I have difficulty predicting him to win a medal in either event. He may also be asked to swim in the 4×100 free if japan qualifies to Final.

          Day 4: 4×200 free.

          Day 5 and 6: Definitely should be 200 IM over 200 back. He will be in his prime in Rio, and his major competitors (we know who they are) will be in their 30s, while top 200 back competitors will be a mix of young stars swimmers who are ascending (Murphy, Conger), as well as experienced battlers (Irie, Clary, Lochte?).

          Day 7: Prelims of 4×100 Medley.

          • bobo gigi says:
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            I 100% agree with you.

          • Floppy says:
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            That mostly makes sense… 4IM, 200fr, 2IM as an Olympic schedule. A couple minor quibbles:

            #1 – He may try the 100 Bk~200 Fr double. If he is going to double up any day, that makes a lot more sense than the 2Bk-2IM double. Plus, swimming the 100 Bk gives him a shot at the medley relay, where Japan maya have a serious medal chance.

            #2 – I don’t think Sun Yang is a lock for the 400 free, in 2015 or 2016.
            This is a side point because I think Hagino has a better shot at the IM, but the 400 free is a very tough race to maintain dominance in. Mack Horton, James Guy, and a few others are clearly ascending. Sun Yang has had… distractions. As they say in the commercials “past performance is not indicative of future success.”

  3. Philip Johnson says:
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    Hagino is F’ing ridiculous! A 3:43 400 free and then a 1:55 200 IM! What?!

    Add that to his 1:45 200 free, a 53 100 back, & 4:07 400 IM!

    Move over Lochte, there’s a new multi-event king in town. Haven’t seen this much versatility in a swimmer since Phelps. wow.

  4. bobo gigi says:
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    Yes but he has to win something now.

  5. hoangle says:
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    incredible!!!! this guy is only 1.75m tall

  6. HISWIMCOACH says:
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    Hagino is young (19) and still improving. Pan Pacs is the perfect opportunity to see if he has adjusted to the heavy competition load. I hope he swims them all and medals in them all. Not to say he’s the next Phelps by any means, but MP’s greatest move was swimming the 200 free in Athens even though nobody gave him a chance to win and he didn’t. What that swim did was give him confidence and make others somewhat scared that he was willing to swim almost any event. I hope Hagino continues his current trajectory and is lights out at Pan pacs

  7. bobo gigi says:
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    We have seen last year in Barcelona that his crazy schedule (400 free, 200 free, 100 back, 200 back, 200 IM, 400 IM) had killed his 2 best gold medal chances in the 200 IM and the 400 IM. He was dead on the last day of the meet.

    2016 olympic games

    The 400 free and the 400 IM are both on the first day.
    Sun Yang is unbeatable. Tae-Hwan Park is back.
    No chance for Hagino to win.
    The choice is easy to do.
    400 IM of course.

    The 100 back and the 200 free prelims, semi-finals and finals are on day 2 and day 3.
    No chance to win and even of a medal against pure specialists.
    No reason to swim these events.
    Keep some energy for later.

    The 200 back and the 200 IM prelims, semi-finals and finals are on day 5 and day 6.
    No chance to win and even of a medal in the 200 back with Lochte, Irie, Kawecki and the young Americans.
    Has a big chance to win the 200 IM with only Lochte as rival.

  8. Swimmer24 says:
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    Hagino is amazing, but I still think he is less versatile than Lochte and Phelps.
    Lochte: 48.4, 1:44 frees, 53, 1:52 backs, 51 fly, 1:54 and 4:05 IMs. He’s better than Hagino in all of his events except the 100 back and 400 free. I think if lochte swam the 400 tapered he would be in the 3:45 neighborhood.
    Phelps is better than hagino in every event besides the 400 free, which he went 3:46 in 2005.

    • Rafael says:
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      How good was locthe at just 19?

      And probably if Hagino were around 1,90 not 1,75… all IM WR would be toast already..

      • aswimfan says:
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        I must agree with Raphael.
        Hagino at 19 yo is most definitely better than Lochte was at 19 yo.
        Even Phelps at 19 were decidedly slower than Hagino in 100/200 back and 200/400 IM. Phelps was fractionally faster in 200 free and decidedly faster in 100/200 fly.

        Having said that, both Lochte and Phelps kept on improving some events till in their mid 20s. There is no guarantee yet that Hagino will keep on improving in his 20s or if he hits a plateau next year or in Rio.

        Anyway, as I had already said in 2011 in swimmingworld, Hagino is pure talent and his rate of improvement were outstanding, even better than Phelps in non fly events. But I still worry (of limiting factor) about swimmers with smallish stature.

      • john26 says:
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        Not the greatest comparison, imo, because Lochte had probably only swam in a LC pool a handful of times at 19. The key to Lochte’s legacy is not just his versatility, but his longevity. If Lochte maintains his current level of dominance until 2016, he would’ve sustained his competitiveness the same amount of time Phelps did, just obviously to a lesser extent in 2004-2008, and 2012 onwards.

        I would contend that Hagino is MORE versatile than Lochte is simply because he has more world class times in more events (but less than Phelps), however, this does not make him, at the most, the better all around swimmer. If you compare 2013 Lochte and 2014 hagino, Lochte is one of top 3 200back swimmers, and a strong medal contender in the 200free and 100fly. Hagino, although the silver medalist, is not, in my opinion, one of top 3 400m freestylers in the world, although he is a strong contender. He is probably just as good as Lochte in the backstroke, but not a world class butterflier.

        I feel that Hagino still has time to drop in the 400IM, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 4:06 or faster this summer

        • aswimfan says:
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          I think I know what you meant by saying Hagino is not one of the top three 400 freestylers. But I have to disagree.

          For the last 12 months at least, Hagino is definitely one of top three 400 freestylers. He won 400 free silver in Barcelona. He finished #3 in the world ranking last year, and he is now ranked #2. Yes, he may not be top three freestyler by Kazan or Rio or even by the end of the year, but in he definitely is in the past 12 months.

          It is not Hagino’ fault that Park didn’t swim in the last year, it is not Hagino’ fault that mckeon is always underperformed in the big championships or that Horton is still starting his ascend or that Agnel only recently got started swimming 400 again.

  9. HISWIMCOACH says:
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    Hagino was only 18 in Barcelona. Let’s see how it plays out this summer first. Bobo, you may be right, but this guys potential is exciting and id like to see him try it this summer to see what he learned from Barcelona. He can always adjust for the Olympics if he needs to at that point and scale it back.

    • David Berkoff says:
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      Looking forward to a Kalisz v Hagino 400 IM race.

      • Briand says:
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        Yes this will be a great rivalry over the next few years. I think they are about even now but Kalisz has more up-side potential and will likely come out ahead in Rio.

    • Philip Johnson says:
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      I agree, I really don’t like people thinking so far ahead, and saying he should drop events. We don’t really know how good this kid can be. He has plenty of time to figure it out. I say he takes on the audacious program and figures out the tweaks along the way.

      • bobo gigi says:
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        Do you prefer to see him win 2 silvers and place in other finals or win 2 golds?
        The choice is easy.
        Everyone wants to do like MP but MP is unique.

        • aswimfan says:
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          I agree with Bobo.
          Let’s consider this: Katie Hoff’s 2008 olympics trials results were even more stunning and impressive than Hagino’s results in the past two japanese nationals:

          At 2008 Us olympics trials, Hoff swam 8:20.21 in 800 free (second in the world ranking), 4:02.32 in 400 free (second in world ranking), 4:31.12 in 400 IM (a New WR), 2:09.77 in 200 IM (second in the world ranking behind Rice’s WR), 1:55.88 in 200 free for American record (and second world ranking).

          However, Hoff did not edit her events for Beijing, just like Hagino who didn’t edit at last year’s Barcelona.

          And the results are eerily similar:
          Hoff at Beijing: 1 silver (400 free) and 2 bronze (400 IM and 4×200).
          Hagino in Barcelona: 2 silvers (400 free and 200 IM).

          Not everyone can be a Franklin or a Phelps.

          However, there were two female swimmers last year who, despote such crazy schedule, were still very successful: Katinka Hosszu ( 2 golds and 1 bronze), and to a certain extent, Mireia Belmonte (2 silvers and a bronze, this is after swimming in 400-800-1,500 free, 200/400 IM, and 200 fly). But maybe if Belmonte had only focused on 200 fly and 200/400 IM, she’d have won a gold medal or two?

          • Flyin' says:
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            I think Belmonte and Hosszu are anomalies, Hosszu swims worse when she swims fewer events. Personally, I think Hagino should just go out this year and swim everything he will final in, then next year taper down the schedule for Worlds, based on how he swims this year. He still young and still improving in a lot of events; it’s hard to pin what will be his best events two years from now.

  10. bobo gigi says:
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    Don’t misunderstand me, Hagino is a fantastic swimmer. He’s a small guy with a giant talent.
    But the comparisons with Lochte and of course even more with MP are a little weird.
    He hasn’t still won anything in a big world meet.
    I don’t know one event TODAY in which he’s sure to win in 2016.
    Even in his best events it’s hard to call him the favorite.
    In the 400 IM, Chase Kalisz will be tough to beat.
    And in the 200 IM the battle would be very close with a fresh Lochte (if Lochte is fresh and drops the 200 back).

    • Philip Johnson says:
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      Accolade wise, yes, Hagino is no Phelps or Lochte. However, you can’t help but compare him to the two when it comes to versatility. That’s all I’m saying.

    • aswimfan says:
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      Bobo, we are not comparing the current Hagino with the current Lochte, otherwise it is all clear that while Lochte is a living legend, Hagino is still making his mark. And it is not factual to state that Hagino has not won anything in a big world meet (Hagino has won individual medals in both Olympics and Worlds).

      But we are comparing them at the same age of 19:
      - Hagino is faster in all his events than Lochte was at the age of 19.
      - At the age of 17, Hagino already won 400 IM olympics bronze, while at the age of 17, Lochte had not even represented USA in worlds/olympics
      - At the age of 18 yo, Hagino already won 400 free worlds silver and 200 IM worlds silver
      - Hagino is the “true” holder of several junior WRs.
      - The very first time Lochte represented USA in worlds/olympics/SCM worlds was in 2004 Athens where he was few days short of 20 where he went to win 200 Im silver.

      Conclusion: until the the age of 19, Hagino is more versatile and a more successful multi-eventer swimmer than Lochte.

      HOWEVER, this current facts and situation cannot be used to predict that Hagino will keep on getting better. Meanwhile, we all know Lochte kept on improving in all of his events untill well into mid 20s, he went on to rack up few LCM and SCM WRs, won multiple individual olympics golds and won numerous LCM and SCM world championships golds and became an active living legend of swimming and among the best name recognition of any other swimmers.

      For all we know, Hagino may hit plateau next year and may never even win olympics gold, but for now, his versatility as a 19 yo is breathtaking (1:45.8, 3:43, 53.00, 1:54.7, 1:55.3, and 4:07.6) and I hope he does not hit that ceiling soon, being small and all that.

    • racer says:
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      Why does it matter? It’s his choice, if he wants to swim a bigger program… he will. Some swimmers perform better when they train for and race in multiple events. He isn’t even close to being finished developing yet, he’s already faster than some of Phelps and Lochte’s times for the same age.

      What if his best event ends up being the 100 free? Obviously not likely, and i’m exaggerating to make a point, but if he drops everything but the 200 back right now he’ll never figure that out. Hagino and his coach(es) will determine what the best program is for their goals. You are also making an assumption that 1 gold > 2 silvers. Yes… it seems that way to most people, but maybe they are more concerned with increasing medal count for their country, or maybe he just wants to race the best in every event for as long as he can.

  11. jd14 says:
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    The 400 free at Pan Pacs is definitely gonna be fun to watch.

    • bobo gigi says:
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      For me it’s the 400 IM.
      Hagino, Seto and Kalisz!
      But I’m biased. The 400 IM is my favorite event.

    • aswimfan says:
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      400 free at pan pacs:

      Sun Yang – Park Tae Hwan – Daviid McKeon – Kosuke Hagino – Mack Horton – Ryan Cochrane – Connor Jaeger – (Hao Yun? Connor Dwyer? other americans?).

      The men 400 free final at Pan Pacs is miight as well the Olympics Final.
      This is crazy, probably the highest quality of all Pan Pacs events.

      • jd14 says:
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        Well, Cochrane, Horton, and McKeon will be coming off their Commonwealth taper. So we’ll see how well they can hold it together. Park, Hagino, and Sun might potentially be holding out until the Asian Games for their big taper. Regardless, with that field, it may take 3:45+ to medal.

  12. HISWIMCOACH says:
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    Agnel was only 6th in 100 free at French nationals. Wow. And the event wasn’t even that fast

    • bobo gigi says:
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      I didn’t expect to see him win but the 6th place is awful.
      I’m sure that Fabrice Pellerin is a little happy right now. :mrgreen:
      Something doesn’t work for some NBAC swimmers.
      Friis was very slow in Denmark.
      Agnel was average all week. Even bad today.
      Anyway, I don’t believe in that 100 free/200 free/400 free idea.
      It’s stupid. These events require such a different training.
      And yes, 48.72 for Manaudou is very slow.
      But the overall meet is slow so no big worries for that.
      Manaudou will be under 48 next summer.

      • Rafael says:
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        Next week ( or another not sure) let´s see Cielo return to 100 free.. Hoping to At LAST (year waiting) to see a strong free relay formed.;.

      • bobo gigi says:
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        Correction. 48.69 for Manaudou.

      • korn says:
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        NBAC/Bowman didn’t work for Hoff or Pelton either. So not surprised that it isn’t working for Agnel or Friis either. At Michigan, he had a stable of Olympians and still no better than 5th place I think in the 4 years. I have said from the beginning that Agnel was crazy to leave Pelligrin after winning Gold! Same with Friis….she will never get any closer to Ledecky than she was in Barcelona!
        Like all coaches, Bowman doesn’t have all the answers

  13. john26 says:
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    Sjostrom swims a 52.93 in the 100free. Not quite to the quality of her other events, but still an amazing time.

    • aswimfan says:
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      When Campbell swam 53.0 in the semis and Sjoestrom swam 52.9, this is a sign that Sjoestrom *should* be swimming around 52.5-52.6 already in the final.

      • john26 says:
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        I didn’t even realize they weren’t final times because so many swimmers broke 54..
        I’m hoping for a 52.5 or faster. Aka “Campbell Territory”

  14. Floppy says:
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    Where has Katinka Hosszu been? Shouldn’t she have swam about 396 races so far this year?

  15. Floppy says:
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    Does China compete at Pan Pacs?

    • Floppy says:
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      And… does Hagino have any fast times in breaststroke or fly? His Bk/Fr combo is top-notch, but I his short-axis strokes must be pretty good too to put up a 1:55.3 IM.

    • john26 says:
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      He has a 1:56 in the 200fly from last year. Breastroke is his weak stroke. Essentialy, at this point, if he improves his breaststroke to Phelps’ level, we’d be looking at World Record territory, which is frightening. Even though he hasn’t posted the times to support it, his IM achievements suggest that he is probably as good a 200backstroker as Lochte, and almost as good at the fly.

    • Braden Keith Braden Keith says:
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      Floppy – they don’t necessarily send a full squad all the time, but they do participate. They won two bronzes in 2010. The Asian Games are typically their off-year focus, however.

      • aswimfan says:
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        Yeah, just echoing Braden. China will likely send a very small contingent to Pan Pacs, but you can bet everything you own that they will send full team, with all the superstars and super ready to 2014 Incheon where China find a medium to assert their superpower sporting status and will try put in pace their neighbors: South Korea and Japan.

        This time around, they may only find majority golds/medals in the womens events, as South Korea will have Park Tae Hwan, and Japan will be spearheaded by Hagino, Irie, and Matsuda, so they’ll depend on Sun Yang to win some golds.

        • Rafael says:
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          I would expect China to grab ALL freestyle golds..

          Ning Zetao gets 50/100 free.. sun get all the rest..

          And their relays are over much bette.. remember china has 2 guys who already went 47 relay start.. Sun 48 low.. no other asian country is even near that.. and 4×200 relay… while Japan is overall better.. if at last part of the race JPN is not 2 3 seconds ahead of China is game over when Sun dives..

          • hoangle says:
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            Sun Yang can easily get golds in 400-1500 and face more challenges to win 200 but It’s hard to get a podium position in 50/100 for Ning Zetao in Pan Pacs. You forget James Magnussen, Cameron Mcevoy, Nathan Adrian, Jimmy Feigen, Cesar Cielo, Brent Hayden, etc…

          • sven says:
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            Hoangle – I think Raf was referring to 2014 Asian Games, not Pan Pacs. They’re a huge deal and it’s not unreasonable to think that some of China’s big guns are saving up for that.

          • Rafael says:
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            Exactly.. I don´t think Zetao will even final if the field is full on Pan pacs..

            But on Asian Games they have a good shot of getting all freestyle male golds.. including relays..

            By the way.. Hayden is retired

          • aswimfan says:
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            That’s true that China will have a shot at all mens free golds at the AG.
            But NIng Zetao will have equal adversaries in Park Tae Hwan and Shinri Shioura. Ning will have bigger chance in 50 free.

            In 200 free, Yang won’t have it all his way, as park will certainly put up resistance. The last time they square-off, it was a draw (2012 London), and this year Park seemed to have picked up a bit more speed (48.4 in 100).

          • aswimfan says:
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            I spoke too soon!

            Shinri Shioura just swam 21.88, an asian record. So Ning Zetao’s chances to win 50-100 has suddenly become a lot harder.

  16. JM90 says:
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    In regards to his future i think it is far more likely he will be replaced by a much faster, much younger Japanese swimmer that we have never heard of until he explodes onto the world scene

  17. Josh says:
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    Success usually begets success for the Japanese. When someone wins an event at the Olympic or World level, they tend to stay strong in those events. It’s hard to believe that Japan is 10 years removed from an Olympic gold medal in the women’s 800 when the winning time is 8:36. Ai Shibata must be shaking her head.

    • aswimfan says:
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      Yes, it is very strange that their w 400-800 are so slow when their w 200/400 IM and 200 fly are so strong.

      Pay attention to their 14 yo girl who won the 400 IM B final in 4:41, whose name escaped me at the moment.

      • bobo gigi says:
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        Hiroko Makino in 4.41.92

        • aswimfan says:
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          Thanks! That’s the one.
          But of course she could also easily turn out to be one of those numerous young japanese swimmers who swam crazy fast times only to swim mediocre when they grow adult.

  18. bobo gigi says:
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    Great final day so far.
    I continue to be very impressed by the depth of Japan swimming.
    So many young talents.
    Again, they have everything to be the second swimming power in the world.
    Only their freestyle, and especially on the women’s side, looks weak.

    Back to the final day.
    Shinri Shioura wins the men’s 50 free in 21.88. New Japan record!
    Fantastic battle between Irie and Hagino in the 200 back!
    Irie wins in 1.53.91 ahead of Hagino in 1.54.23.
    Irie was in 55.57 at the half-race vs 56.45 for Hagino!
    What a finish for Hagino!

    • aswimfan says:
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      That is another PB for Hagino. His previous PB was 1:54.77 from earlier this year after 1:55.12 last year.

      So in this meet, Hagino has set PBs in 200/400 free, 100/200 back and 200 IM!

      Irie just missed his textile PB of 1:53.78 set in London winning silver.

  19. bobo gigi says:
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    Hagino has the same problems of rich as Lochte. :)
    The 200 back and the 200 IM finals are on the same day at the olympic games.
    Which event is the best for him?
    Of course he can still improve in the 200 back but the adversity looks much harder in that race with Lochte (if he still swims that race), Clary, Irie, Kawecki and the young Americans like Murphy and Conger.
    In the 200 IM I see only Lochte as threat for him.
    Problems of rich. :)

    • aswimfan says:
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      He has more chance to win 200 IM than 200 back in Rio. There are only two guys ever went faster than him in 200 IM and they will be well in their 30s in Rio. And the rest of the field are at least more than a second slower.
      Meanwhile, in 200 back, there are two faster swimmers who will be in peak in Rio (Clary and Irie), in addition to the 30+ yo RL, as well as Radoslaw Kawecky who has swum 1:54.2 last year, as well as rapidly improving Murphy, Conger, etc.

      This is maybe suck for him to not swim 200 back at the olympics, but remember that Lochte himself attempted the same exact double where he was #1 in both events leading up to London, and yet came home with a silver and bronze from the two events. Even mr. GOAT himself discarded 200 back in Athens even though he was swam world’s #2 ranked.

      I hope Hagino read SwimSwam… or may be not, and go ahead with full schedule and come home from Rio with 4 individual golds and make us look like idiot with stupid advice :)

  20. bobo gigi says:
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    Takuro Fujii wins the men’s 100 fly in 51.84. Best time of the year so far.

    • aswimfan says:
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      Comparisons of time between Phelps, Hagino and Lochte at the age of 19:

      Phelps:
      200 free: 1:45.32
      100 fly: 51:25
      200 fly: 1:54.04
      200 IM: 1:57.14
      400 IM: 4:08.26
      200 back: 1:55.86

      Hagino:
      200 free: 1:45.89
      100 back: 53.08
      200 back: 1:54.23
      200 IM: 1:55.38
      400 IM: 4:07.61

      Lochte (at the age of 20, because I really can not find his LCM times from when he was 19) :
      200 free: 1:48.65
      100 back: no data
      200 back: no data
      200 IM: 1:58.78
      400 IM: 4:17.45

  21. bobo gigi says:
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    Impressive quality of times in the women’s 200 breast final with 8 girls in 2.26 or less.
    I’m not going to compare with the 200 breast of the French championships today. :mrgreen:
    If we have a girl in 2.28 it will be very good. :cry:
    Kanako Watanabe wins in 2.21.09.
    Rie Kanetou is second in 2.21.58.
    The very young Runa Imai is fifth in 2.24.53.

    Average times in the men’s race
    Kazuki Kohinata wins in 2.09.67.
    Yamaguchi only 4th in 2.10.33. He struggles since his crazy summer of 2012.

    • aswimfan says:
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      I am excited about another Japanese pixie swimmer: Kanako Watanabe.

      This year could be her breakthrough year, after first showing the world of her talent at 14 yoin 2011 by swimming 2:23, followed by almost two years of very little improvement, and then started to show marked improvement early this year, especially in 200 IM, and now she broke her 200 breast PB by more than a second.

      She is following in the quite rare tradition of Amanda Beard and Leisel Jones who excelled in both 200 breast and 200 IM.

    • aswimfan says:
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      I think it’s all mental for Yamaguchi and he is not prepared for the pressure after breaking WR at a quite young age. This reminds me of Rebecca Brown who broke 200 breast WR at the age of 15 and felt the crazy pressure of Australia hope and never again swam close to her WR (around 2:24 at that time).

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