17-Year-Old Yanagimoto Qualifies For Japan’s Olympic Squad


While most eyes were on the big guns in the pool tonight in Tokyo, as the likes of Yui Ohashi, Ryosuke Irie and Kosuke Hagino were competing on night 3 of the 2021 Japanese Olympic Trials, a quiet personal triumph took place.

17-year-old Konosuke Yanagimoto raced in the men’s 200m freestyle tonight, snagging the silver in a time of 1:47.45. Winning the race was World Championships silver medalist Katsuo Matsumoto who touched in a new national record of 1:44.65, while the aforementioned Hagino placed 3rd in 1:47.72.

The Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF) set a minimum threshold of 7:08.31 for the men’s 800m free relay. The aforementioned top 3 finishers, along with 4th placed Takahashi Kotaro‘s 1:47.93 collectively comes in at 7:07.75, good enough to qualify. This means, Yanagimoto, a junior in high school, has booked his ticket with his lifetime best performance.

Yanagimoto marks the youngest member of the Japanese Olympic swimming team since Hagino made the squad at the same age for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

If Yanagimoto’s name sounds familiar, it’s because the teen already made some major noise last year as a 16-year-old at the Tokyo Special Swimming Tournament. At that meet in October 2020, Yanagimoto put up a monster 100m free of 49.41 to claim a new National High School Record. He also nailed a big-time 1:47.85 in the men’s 200m free, a time he just surpassed tonight by .40 to make his first Olympic Games.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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