2021 JAPAN OPEN
- Thursday, February 4th – Sunday, February 7th
- Tokyo Aquatics Centre
- LCM (50m)
- Entry List (in Japanese)
- SwimSwam Preview
- Day 1 Finals/Day 2 Finals/Day 3 Finals
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
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