The Japan Open will kick off this Thursday in Tatsumi, Japan, and the home country has shown up in full-force, according to the start lists.
Daiya Seto, Kosuke Hagino, Ryosuke Irie, Satomi Suzuki, Kanako Watanabe and Yasuhiro Koseki will be among the headliners for Japan. Seto, Irie, Watanabe and Koseki are just coming off of the Mare Nostrum series, where they collectively brought in a big haul of money and put up some highly-ranked times. Now they’ll come home to do it again in front of a home crowd.
The breaststroke battles between Watanabe and Suzuki on the women’s side might be some of the best showdowns of the meet. Watanabe was on fire in Mare Nostrum, but Suzuki is still the national record holder in the 50 and 100.
Some other names in attendance: Club Wolverine’s Ortiz brothers, Miguel and Bruno, along with CW teammate Junya Koga. National record-holder Haruka Ueda will lead the women’s freestyle fields, and Hiromasa Fujimori and Kazuki Kohinata are also on the start lists.
Though it’s technically an “open” event, there aren’t many entries outside of Japan. Korea has a few athletes, and Great Britain is bringing a team of 6 junior women including Molly Renshaw to compete. (The full British roster is here).