2014 ASIAN GAMES – SWIMMING
- Sunday, September 21st-Friday, September 26th
- Incheon, South Korea
- Prelims/Finals: 9AM/7PM local time
- Event website
- Entry lists
- Meet results
- Men’s 100 butterfly
- Women’s 200 freestyle
- Men’s 100 breaststroke
- Women’s 200 butterfly
- Men’s 400 IM
- Women’s 100 backstroke
- Men’s 4×100 freestyle relay
Day 4 of the 2014 Asian Games will feature what is always one of the highlight events at this meet: the men’s 200 breaststroke, where historically Japan has put up some of the best swimmers in the world. In addition, the day will see China’s powerful women’s 200 butterfliers that have dominated the world for the last 6 years, and prelims of the men’s 400 IM, featuring Japan’s rising superstar Kosuke Hagino. While there aren’t enough entries in that 400 IM where any contenders will be working too hard in prelims, the Asian Games Record of 4:13.35 should be crushed in finals.
MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY
- World record – 49.82 – Michael Phelps – USA (2009)
- Asian record – 51.00 – Kohei Kawamoto – JPN (2009)
- Asian Games record – 51.83 – Jiawei Zhou – CHN (2010)
Team Japan’s men remained hot to start the fourth day of this meet, as they won the first two of three heats, which included Takuro Fujii (52.83) topping both of China’s entries (Zhuhao Li in 52.98, Qibin Zhang in 53.24) head-to-head in the second heat.
Fujii will be tied for the top seed headed into finals with Singapore’s Joseph Schooling, who was also 52.83 in the last heat. Schooling already has a medal in the 200 fly from earlier in this meet, and was the Commonwealth Games silver medalist in this event – which was a huge breakthrough for swimming in his native country.
The top 8 headed to finals are Fujii (52.83), Schooling (52.83), Li (52.98), Zhang (53.24), Japan’s Hirofumi Ikebata (53.34), South Korea’s Gyucheol Chang (53.44), Indonesia’s Glenn Sutanto (53.86), and Hong Kong’s Geoff Cheah (53.97). By comparison, it took half-a-second faster to final here than it did in 2010, showing the region’s increased depth, though the top-end was still about the same.
WOMEN’S 200 FREESTYLE
- World record – 1:52.98 – Federica Pellregrini – ITA (2009)
- Asian record – 1:55.05 – Jiaying Pang – CHN (2008)
- Asian Games record – 1:56.65 – Quianwei Zhou – CHN (2010)
Even with the Chinese freestylers generally having swum very well in the last year, nobody was under two minutes in a casual prelims of the women’s 200 free on Wednesday morning. The top seed, by a solid margin went to Japan’s Chihiro Igarashi in 2:00.48 – seven-tenths clear of China’s Shen Duo, the winner of the 3rd heat in the morning session.
Japan’s other entry in this race, Yasuko Miyamoto, was a 2:01.36 for the 3rd seed, followed by China’s Tang Yi , the defending silver medalist in the event, in 2:01.43.
Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey, best known as a sprinter and the 2013 World Junior Champ in the 100 free, has stretched her range a little at 17-years old. She made the final, and sat close to that lead pack, in 2:01.47.
After that, the times dropped off considerably, with Junghye Kim of the home country earning the 6th seed in 2:01.93. Camille Cheng from Hong Kong is 7th in 2:02.33, and Thailand’s Natthanan Jungrajang rounds out the top 8 in 2:02.71, giving Southeast Asia representation in the final.
MEN’S 100 BREASTSTROKE
- World record – 58.46 – Cameron Van Der Burgh – RSA (2012)
- Asian record – 58.90 – Kosuke Kitajima – JPN (2012)
- Asian Games record – 1:00.38 – Ryo Tateishi – JPN (2010)
The Chinese and Japanese swimmers were all safely through in the men’s 100 breaststroke final, without anyone exerting too much effort. Given all of the breaststroke talent that has rolled through Japan, however, the results at this meet in particular have never been all that impressive in the men’s 100 breaststroke. Nobody has ever been faster than 1:00.38 and that was the defending champion Ryo Tateishi, who’s not swimming this year.
The top-seeded Yasuhiro Koseki will have to drop a full second if he wants to challenge that record after a 1:01.39 in prelims. His 4th heat was easily the fastest of the morning, and it produced the three best times. Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Balandin, the surprising and invigorating winner of the 200 breast earlier in the meet, was 2nd in 1:01.55, and Uzbekistan’s Vladislav Mustafin is 3rd in 1:01.64. That’s two non-traditional swimming powers among the top three qualifiers.
China’s Xiang Li is the 4th seed, and a heat winner, with a 1:01.91, and Japan’s Nayoa Tomita is the 5th qualifier in 1:02.20. While Tomita’s placing is not exactly comfortable, he still had more-than-enough margin to easily cruise into the final.
South Korea’s Janghun Jiu (1:02.33) and Kyuwoong Choi (1:02.39) took the next two qualifications in 6th and 7th place. That’s an exciting battle-within-the-battle, after the two had a fantastic chess-match in the breaststroke races at South Korea’s National Championships.
The 8th spot in finals went to China’s Mao Feilian in 1:02.76. He swam pretty well on the shoulder of his teammate Li in prelims, but was almost the victim of a rather slow heat.
WOMEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY
- World record – 2:01.81 – Liu Zige – CHN (2009)
- Asian record – 2:01.81 – Liu Zige – CHN (2009)
- Asian Games record – 2:05.79 – Liuyang Jiao – CHN (2010)
With only 9 prelims swimmers and 8 spots through to finals, the women’s 200 fly morning heats were more-or-less a warmup. with the four top contenders from China and Japan all going 2:13’s and 2:14’s in the heats.
The Japanese Record holder Natsumi Hoshi took the top seed in 2:13.64, followed by her countrymate Miyu Nakano in 2:13.87. They were followed by the two Chinese entries: Meet Record holder Jiao Liuyang (2:13.95) and World Record holder Liu Zige (2:14.38).
Ting Quah from Singapore is the 5th seed in 2:15.24, followed by An Sehyeon from South Korea, Patarawadee Kittiya of Thailand, and Sutasinee Pankaem of Thailand (2:19.18). The lone swimmer left out of the final is Singapore’s Jing Tan, who was a 2:21.31.
MEN’S 400 IM
- World record – 4:03.84 – Michael Phelps – USA (2008)
- Asian record – 4:07.61 – Kosuke Hagino – JPN (2013)
- Asian Games record – 4:13.35 – Yuya Hoshihata– JPN (2010)
The two Japanese swimmers, and favorites, in this men’s 400 IM cruised to the top two seeds out of prelims, with a 4:15.94 from Daiya Seto and a 4:18.77 from Kosuke Hagino winning their respective heats.
Both swimmers, as well as the two Chinese entries, could be under the old Meet Record of just 4:13 in finals – Asian IM’ers have come a long, long way since the 2012 Olympic Games.
Chaosheng Huang of China (4:19.13) and Zhixian Yang from China (4:19.33) took the 3rd and 4th seeds. Nobody else was better than 4:26, with as slow as a 4:30 making the top 8.
WOMEN’S 100 BACKSTROKE
- World record – 58.12 – Gemma Spofforth – GBR (2009)
- Asian record – 58.70 – Aya Terakawa– JPN (2013)
- Asian Games record – 58.94 – Jing Zhao – CHN (2010)
Only one of the top four swimmers from the 2010 version of this event returned for 2014, and that’s silver medalist Shiho Sakai. She was safely through to the finals with a 1:02.07 to win heat 1, but surprisingly was a full second behind the top qualifier.
That top qualifier is Kazakhstan’s Yekaterina Rudenko, who trains in the United States at Drury. She’s a two-time Olympian for her native country, including making her first team in 2008 at just 13 years old, and is one more piece of the newly-discovered Kazakhstan swimming success at this meet.
She swam ahead of Xueer Wang to win her heat, as the Chinese swimmer is the second qualifier overall in 1:01.39.
Her countrymate Fu Yuanhui is 3rd in 1:01.88, followed by Japan’s Miyuki Takemura (1:02.03) and Sakai as the 5th seed.
Hong Kong’s Claudia Lau will return to the A-Final for the second-consecutive edition, swimming a 1:02.52 for the 6th seed. South Korea’s Dalin Lee (1:02.67) and Hong Kong’s Stephanie Au (1:02.86) round out the top 8 in what is one of the deeper finals at this meet.
MEN’S 4×100 FREESTYLE RELAY
- World record – 3:08.24 – USA (2008)
- Asian record – 3:14.73 – JPN (2009)
- Asian Games record – 3:16.34 – China (2010)
Despite an easy path to finals, the Japanese men’s 400 free relay swam pretty well in the heats to take the top seed in 3:17.41. That includes a 49.29 leadoff split from Shinri Shioura and sub-50 second splits from Rammaru Harada, Kenta Ito, and Katsumi Nakamura.
Ito really seemed to be feeling his swim, splitting 22.73/25.72 for a total result of 48.45: the fastest in the field.
China took the 2nd seed in 3:19.73, and South Korea was 3rd in 3:21.64. Both China and South Korea were without their best swimmers, Sun Yang and Park Tae Hwan, in the preliminary rounds. If those two swim in finals, it might be enough for them to challenge Japan for gold.
The only other really significant news out of this race is that Singapore was disqualified after being on pace to make the top 8 and swim in the medal final.
Full meet results can be found here.