Kenta Ito put up a pair of swims over the weekend at Japan’s Inter-University Championship meet that gives the Japanese big hopes for the future of their sprinting group (that has struggled mightly in the last few years).
That includes a 22.05 that is a new Japanese National Record in the men’s 50 free (stunning that a country as good as Japan has never had a swimmer under 22 seconds), and followed that up with a new Meet Record of 48.70, which ranks him 2nd on Japan’s all-time list.
In the 50, that swim broke a tie at 22.11 that had stood between Shinri Shioura and Masayuki Kishida; Takuro Fujii holds the National Record in the 100 at 48.49. At just 22 years old, Ito is about to enter the typical prime of most sprinters, which would be fantastic for Japan’s medley relay that won silver in London.
Also of note in this meet, Japan’s IM group continued to shine. Yosuke Mori won the 200 IM in a new Meet Record of 1:59.43, making him the 5th Japanese swimmer to break two minutes this year. The only year in which more did it was the suit-fueled 2009 season, when seven did it.
In the 400 meter version of that race, Yuya Horihata swam a 4:14.27, which is a new Meet Record. It’s fairly far off of his season best, but not a bad time for a swimmer who follows a more traditional boon-and-bust cycle than most of the Japanese National level swimmers do. Close behind him in 2nd was Takeharu Fujimori in 4:14.95. For the 17-year old, that’s a best time by almost three seconds.