2016 Japanese Olympic Trials Day 2 Finals Recap



  • Japanese National Record – 1:45.23, Kosuke Hagino (2014)
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 1:46.10

After registering a time of 1:47.16 in the 200m freestyle prelims, Hagino took things up a level, as expected, in tonight’s semi-final. The 21-year-old scored a time of 1:46.28 to earn the field’s only sub-1:47 time and claim the top seed entering tomorrow’s final.

For Hagino, his fastest this season is the 1:46.14 he raced to earlier this year at the Konami Open, a time which remains as the 3rd-fastest in the world this season only behind China’s Sun Yang and Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic. Splits for the 2012 Olympian Hagino were 51.83/54.45.

Cashing in a solid prelims swim is 31-year-old Takeshi Matsuda, the 200m butterfly specialist who is trying this event on for size and making the most of it at Japanese Trials. After touching in 1:48.29 for the 3rd seed, Matsuda dropped a cool second to register a 1:47.19 in semi’s to move up a spot in 2nd. That may prove crucial come the final, where Matsuda can pace off of Hagino in the lane beside him in the hopes of earning the Olympic qualifying time of 1:46.10.

Top 8:

  1. Kosuke Hagino, 1:46.28
  2. Takeshi Matsuda, 1:47.19
  3. Naito Ehara, 1:47.92
  4. Katsuhiro Matsumoto, 1:48.33
  5. Takumi Komatsu, 1:48.38
  6. Yuki Kobori, 1:48.47
  7. Tsubasa Amai, 1:48.51
  8. Fuyu Yoshida, 1:48.82


  • Japanese National Record – 1:57.37, Haruka Ueda (2011)
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 1:56.82

Chihiro Igarashi maintained her top seed after tonight’s semi’s, stopping the clock at a time of 1:58.89. The 400m freestyle winner from day 1 of the meet leads the field,which included just 5 swimmers under the 2-minute mark in total. Sachi Mochida raced away with the 2nd seed tonight, earning a time of 1:59.33, followed by Tomomi Aoiki with her swim of 1:59.38.

The teen sprinting phenom, Rikako Ikee, dropped about a second from her prelims swim of 2:00.65 to move into the sub-2-minute zone with a time of 1:59.57.  All competitors are quite a ways off from the Japanese Olympic standard, which sits at 1:56.82.

This is the first event contested thus far where the JPN Olympic standard is set actually faster than the National Record in the event, speaking to the aggressiveness the country wants to improve this relatively weak event. The Japanese national record holder in the 200m freestyle actually was in the field in Tokyo, however, Ueda failed to make it out of the prelims. She finished with a time of 2:04.27 for 28th place.

Top 8:

  1. Chihiro Igarashi, 1:58.89
  2. Sachi Mochida, 1:59.33
  3. Aoiki Tomomi, 1:59.38
  4. Rikako Ikee, 1:59.57
  5. Aya Takano, 1:59.83
  6. Yaoi Matsumoto, 2:00.36
  7. Tsudumi Hasegawa, 2:00.74
  8. Miyamoto Yasuko & Yui Yamane, 2:00.89, SWIM-OFF required


  • Japanese National Record – 1:05.88, Kanako Watanabe (2014)
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 1:06.87

After a promising dip into 1:06 territory in prelims (1:06.91), the Japanese national record holder in the 200m breast event, Rie Kaneto, actually added time during the semi-final of the sprint breast. She was the top seed headed into semi’s, but Kaneto churned out a time a little over a tenth of a second slower than her morning outing, stopping the clock at 1:07.03. This dropped her into the 3rd slot for the final, indicating she either was playing it safe during semi’s, or we’ve seen the best she has to offer in Tokyo already in her prelim swim.

Kanako Watanabe sits atop the field with her time of 1:07.03, a solid drop from her earlier 1:07.79 swim. Watanabe is a major threat in the 200m breastroke and 200m IM events, but her holds the Japanese National Record in this race, showing the young 19-year-old has speed to drop into the 1:05-arena. Headed into finals, Watanabe holds a .05 of a second lead over the 2nd seeded Satomi Suzuki, who registered a time of 1:07.08.

Top 8:

  1. Kanako Watanabe, 1:07.03
  2. Satomi Suzuki, 1:07.08
  3. Rie Kaneto, 1:07.15
  4. Runa Imai, 1:07.52
  5. Reona Aoki, 1:07.56
  6. Miku Kanasashi, 1:07.63
  7. Mina Matsushima, 1:08.16
  8. Misaki Sekiguchi, 1:08.48


  • Japanese National Record – 52.24, Ryosuke Irie (2009)
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 53.49

The Japanese National Record holder in the event, Ryosuke Irie, continued to the lead the field after semi’s, touching the wall in a time of 53.31. That drops about 6 tenths of a second from his morning swim of 53.90 and sets the 2012 Olympic medalist up nicely to venture into 52-second territory come finals. The mark also exceeds the Japanese qualifying standard of 53.49, most likely qualifying Irie for his 4th Olympic Games.

Pushing Irie gently along is 28-year-0ld Club Wolverine Elite swimmer, Junya Koga, Koga was 3rd-fastest in prelims (53.97), but moved up to the runner-up seed with his semi mark of 53.49.

Top 8:

  1. Ryosuke Irie, 53.31
  2. Junya Koga, 53.49
  3. Masaki Kaneko, 53.95
  4. Junya Hasegawa, 54.10
  5. Keita Sunama, 54.36
  6. Hayate Matsubara, 54.38
  7. Takeshi Kawamoto, 54.52
  8. Yuki Shirai, 54.62


  • Japanese National Record – 57.55, Rikako Ikee (2016)
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 57.77
  • The Podium –
    • Rikako Ikee, 57.55
    • Natsumi Hoshi, 58.60
    • Suzuka Hasegawa, 58.71

The hellaciousy-fast 15-year-old that is Rikako Ikee continued to impress in the sprint fly event, racking up the win tonight by almost a full second. After scoring a shiny new Japanese National Record of 57.55 in the semi’s of this 100m butterfly race, Ikee settled for a still-impressive time of 57.71 to take the win and qualify for her first Olympic Games.

Ikee’s record-breaking time sits as the 8th-fastest in the world this season, while her finals mark also registers just outside the top 10, giving her credibility in the discussion of who potentially could make an Olympic final in the women’s’ 100m butterfly event in Rio this summer.

Runner-up tonight was the 200m butterfly World Champion, Natsumi Hoshi, recording a time of 58.60 for her efforts. She slashed a little over 2 tenths from her 58.84 semi outing to hold off Suzuka Hasegawa, who touched in 58.71 for the bronze tonight.


  • Japanese National Record – 58.90, Kosuke Kitajima (2012)
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 59.63
  • The Podium –
    • Koseki Yasuhiro, 59.66
    • Kosuke Kitajima, 59.93
    • Ryo Tateishi, 1:00.36

After exceeding most enthusiasts’ expectations by qualifying as the top seed for tonight’s final, 33-year-old breaststroking legend Kosuke Kitajima settled for the runner-up spot in the men’s 100m breaststroke. Kitajima scored another sub-minute time, albeit barely, charging to the wall in 59.93.

Kitajima had already clocked a 59.62 in prelims to dip beneath the Japanese Olympic qualifying standard of 59.63 – by just .01 of a second. That result, paired with the fact he earned a 2nd place finish tonight, is enough to qualify Kitajima for his 5th Olympic Games.

Not to be overshadowed by Kitajima’s achievement, however, is the fact that Koseki Yasuhiro claimed the meet title in a time of 59.66. The time is agonizingly close to the 59.63 qualifying standard.

Koseki’s times at this meet include a 1:00.09 in semi’s and a 1:00.12 in prelims, but the man actually holds the world’s 6th-swiftest mark in the 100m breaststroke event so far this season after taking the event at February’s Kanomi Open in 59.67. Despite the meet title, not obtaining the Japanese Olympic cut would result in a subjective decision by the Japanese Swimming Federation to include Yasuhiro on the Rio roster.

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Victor P
6 years ago

Gotta hand it to Mr. Kitajima. A model of high level performance consistency.

6 years ago

Well 57-mid for Ikke, while she can drop more for Rio, she won´t be able (or anyone else) to contend directly with Sjostrom, but with a little more drop she can dip into the medal territory.

6 years ago

Rikako Ikee’s stroke is very similar to Ottesen’s, with a high arm recovery. But the underwater shots show how powerful and effective her catch and pull are, which makes her stroke look effortless from above.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

“Only” 57.71 by Rikako Ikee in the 100 fly final.
No surprise after swimming a 200 free semifinal.
What was the use of swimming that event just before? 🙄
That kind of no brain schedule choices will really always irritate me.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I’m pretty sure it’s purely for a relay?

6 years ago

Isn´t that the first time of Runa dipping into 1:07 realm? That could bode well for her 200.

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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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