17-Yr-Old Japanese Olympic Qualifier Mizuki Hirai Rips 56.33 100 Fly

62nd KANAGAWA PREFECTURAL HS ATHLETIC MEET (JPN)

  • Friday, June 21st – Sunday, June 23rd
  • Yokohama International Pool
  • LCM (50m)
  • Results

While the swimming community’s eyes are locked into the elite competitions happening around the world including the U.S. Olympic Trials and European Championships, a big-time performance emerged at a high school meet in Japan.

Racing on day one of the 62nd Kanagawa Prefectural Athlete Meet, 17-year-old Mizuki Hirai fired off a head-turning outing of 56.33 in the women’s 100m butterfly.

Hirai opened in 26.26 and closed in 30.07 to establish a new lifetime best. The outing overtook her previous career-quickest result of 56.91, the time she registered to win the event at this year’s Japanese Olympic Trials to qualify for next month’s Olympic Games. That previous PB included splits of 26.66/30.25.

Hirai broke through with the bronze at last year’s World Junior Championships. She punched a time of 58.35 there in Netanya so the teen has already dropped 2 seconds in less than a year in this pet event.

Her performances have been steadily putting the World Junior Record on notice. That WJR stands unofficially at the 56.20 and officially at the 56.43 American Claire Curzan put on the books in 2021,

In the meantime, Hirai remains Japan’s #2 performer in history and sits just .25 away from Rikako Ikee‘s national record of 56.08 notched in 2018.

Hirai’s rapid 56.33 mark now ranks her 6th in the world on the season.

2023-2024 LCM Women 100 Fly

GretchenUSA
WALSH
06/15
55.18 WR
2Torri
HUSKE
USA55.5206/16
3Regan
SMITH
USA55.6206/16
4Yufei
ZHANG
CHN55.8609/27
5Angelina
KOHLER
GER56.1102/11
6Emma
MCKEON
AUS56.4002/24
7 Margaret
MACNEIL
CAN56.5405/13
8Claire
CURZAN
USA56.6102/12
9Brianna
Throssell
AUS56.7704/20
10Alex
SHACKELL
USA56.7806/15
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STRAIGHTBLACKLINE
28 days ago

Excellent time. An awful lot of fast times seem to be swum at Japanese high school meets. Given her age and trajectory she has to be given an outside chance of a minor medal in Paris.

Adrian
28 days ago

Japan could do some damage in the women’s medley relay if they can find a better backstroke leg, put Hirai on the fly leg, move Ikee to the free leg, and they have an awesome breast leg.

sadswammer
28 days ago

Could someone explain why this isn’t a new WJR? Is it bc it’s not at a big official meet?

Doe
Reply to  sadswammer
28 days ago

I think so…

lilac
Reply to  Doe
28 days ago

no swimswam has everything on their site. curzans fastest 100 fly as junior was 56.20 but her 56.43 is the official wjr record instead. that might be for the same reason as this not becoming the wjr

jess
Reply to  sadswammer
28 days ago

Usually has to do with if drug testing was done at a meet or not. Similar to the 4IM WJR With summer a few years ago

Swammer Chat
28 days ago

Japanese look good at Butterfly.
Some favorites in medley relay, like China and UK, are annoying because they dont have the good butterflier.

Clutch
28 days ago

There was a two-second improvement within less than a year and a massive new PB at a meet where she probably wasn’t tapered.

She seems to be one of the favorites to medal in Paris. Maybe even a dark horse for gold?

Tencor
Reply to  Clutch
28 days ago

Typically these youngsters without international experience add time on the big stage. I think give it a few more international competitions and she can emerge as a true medal favorite.

Matt
Reply to  Clutch
28 days ago

Unless she drops another second no she won’t win gold.

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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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