19-Yr-Old Shoma Sato Scorches Another 2:06 200 Breaststroke


Competing on the final day of the Japan Open, 19-year-old Shoma Sato busted out the fastest 200m breaststroke time of his career, beating former World Record holder Ippei Watanabe in the process.

Keio University’s Sato soared to the wall in a monster time of 2:06.74 to top the field here by well over half a second.

The teen’s time tonight at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre proved his other sub-2:07 scorcher from just last month wasn’t a fluke. At the Kosuke Kitajima Cup in January, Sato produced a time of 2:06.78 to become the 4th fastest performer ever in this men’s 200m breast event.  That outing shaved .24 off of his previous lifetime best, which sat at the 2:07.02 the teen already threw down this season at last October’s Japan Student Championships.

Flash forward to tonight and Sato sliced .04 off of the 2:06.78 January result to better his PB and further put the world on notice that he is a bonafide medal contender in this event at this summer’s home-based Olympic Games.

Here in Tokyo, Sato set himself up nicely in lane 4 by putting up a morning swim of 2:08.47. Then in the final, he unleashed splits of 1:01.11/1:05.63 to top the podium and cement his swim among the discipline’s great performances.

For his part, Watanabe touched in a speedy time of 2:07.54, which, by all other standards is a high-quality performance. But, when you have the Arno Kamminga‘s (NED) and Sato’s of the world posting sub-2:07’s at in-season meets, Watanabe’s outing here loses its luster. That’s merely a testament to how quickly the bar has been raised in this men’s 200m breast event.

Split comparison for Sato’s 2:06 Performances;

Old PB of 2:06.78 – 1:01.18/1:05.60

New PB of 2:06.74 – 1:01.11/1:05.63

Sato remains as the 4th fastest man ever in the men’s 200m breaststroke, with his 2:06.74 from this evening checking in as the world’s 6th fastest performance all-time.

All-Time Men’s LCM 200 Breaststroke Performers

#1 Anton Chupkov (RUS) – 2:06.12, 2019
#2 Matt Wilson (AUS) – 2:06.67, 2019
#2 Ippei Watanabe (JPN) – 2:06.67, 2017
#4 Shoma Sato (JPN) – 2:06.74, 2021
#5 Arno Kamminga (NED) – 2:06.85, 2020

All-Time Men’s LCM 200 Breaststroke Performances

#1 2:06.12 – Anton Chupkov (RUS), 2019
#2 2:06.67 – Matt Wilson (AUS), 2019
#2 2:06.67 – Ippei Watanabe (JPN), 2019
#4 2:06.68 – Matt Wilson (AUS), 2019
#5 2:06.73 – Ippei Watanabe (JPN), 2019
#6 2:06.74 – Shoma Sato (JPN), 2021

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7 months ago

This event is going to be the most exciting event of Tokyo 2020NE

He Said What?
7 months ago

The Japanese are not playing games. They are determined to make the swimming pool their personal property.

Ikee fan
7 months ago

Two weeks apart.

7 months ago

And Still no one can replicate the way chupkov swims it

Reply to  Rafael
7 months ago

Chupkov is a literal animal, have never seen someone see a 200 of any stroke besides free swim if the way he does. Everyone should be taking notes

Reply to  Yabo
7 months ago

Notes and maybe a little something else

college swimmer
7 months ago

I believe that Wantanabe’s 2:06.67 is from 2017, not 2019

Stan Crump
7 months ago

We want film!!!!!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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