2016 Japanese Olympic Trials Day 5 Finals Live Recap: Hagino Drops The Hammer

2016 JAPAN SWIM (JAPANESE OLYMPIC TRIALS)

MEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE – SEMI-FINAL

  • Japanese National Record – 1:52.51, Ryosuke Irie (2009)
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 1:56.79

A remarkable 4 Japanese swimmers fall within the world’s top 10 times in the men’s 200m backstroke event, so we’re in for a mega showdown as we progress from semi’s to finals.

2015-2016 LCM Men 200 BACK

MitchellAUS
LARKIN
11/07
1.53.17
2Ryan
MURPHY
USA1.53.6208/11
3Evgeny
RYLOV
RUS1.53.9708/11
4Jacob
PEBLEY
USA1.54.7707/01
5Jiayu
XU
CHN1.54.7904/08
6Tyler
CLARY
USA1.55.3307/01
7Irie
RYOSUKE
JPN1.55.4202/13
8Sean
LEHANE
USA1.55.5607/23
9Guangyuan
LI
CHN1.55.8908/11
10Radolslaw
KAWECKI
POL1.55.9805/21
View Top 26»

The men are going to have to step it up in the next round, however, as the pack generally maintained its rhythm from this morning. 20-year-old Keita Sunama maintained his top seeded standing, following his morning swim of 1:57.12 up with a swifter mark of 1:56.43.

Although this is just semi’s and the mark doesn’t count toward Rio eligibility until the finals, Sunama’s season-best outing this morning cleared the JPN Olympic-qualifying standard of 1:56.79. He was the only swimmer of the field to have dipped under the threshold thus far.

In the sweet spot of the 2nd seed, Japanese National Record Holder and overall ‘Mr. Consistent’ in this event, Ryosuke Irie, clocked a time of 1:57.05 to modestly improve upon his earlier outing of 1:57.05. For Irie, he’s been as fast as 1:55.42 already this year, barring anything unusual, Irie is on schedule to  drop more time in the final en route to surpassing the 1:56.79 JPN Olympic standard.

Top 8:

  1. Sunama, 1:56.43
  2. Iriea, 1:57.05
  3. Matsubara, 1:57.58
  4. Shriai, 1:58.05
  5. Kaneko, 1:58.69
  6. Watanabe, 1:59.67
  7. Nishimura, 2:00.33
  8. Hotta, 2:00.40

WOMEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE – SEMI-FINAL

  • Japanese National Record – 2:20.04, Rie Kaneto (2016)
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 2:23.21

Japanese women represent 3 of the world’s top 10 times in this event as of today, led by the monster time of 2:20.04 27-year-old Rie Kaneto threw down at the Aquatic Super Series in Perth. That mark now stands as the Japanese National Record and has given Kaneto the confidence boost needed to hold off the likes of young guns such as 15-year-old Runa Imai.

2015-2016 LCM Women 200 BREAST

RieJPN
KANETO
04/09
2.19.65
2Yulia
EFIMOVA
RUS2.21.4103/04
3Taylor
McKEOWN
AUS2.21.4504/12
4Rikke
PEDERSEN
DEN2.21.6905/20
5Jinglin
SHI
CHN2.22.2808/11
6Molly
RENSHAW
GBR2.22.3308/10
7Chloe
TUTTON
GBR2.22.3404/13
8Kanako
WATANABE
JPN2.22.4109/03
9Jessica
VALL MONTERO
ESP2:22.5605/20
10Viktoria
ZEYNEP GUNES
TUR2.22.8711/07
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And Kaneto continues to impress in Tokyo. After logging an opening prelim time of 2:24.05, she hacked off 3 seconds exactly to remain as the top seed after tonight’s semi-final. 2:21.05 was the mark the 27-year-old fired off tonight to now own the top 2 times in the world this season. As mentioned, since this is a semi and not final, although her time dipping beneath the JPN Olympic standard of 2:23.21 is a great indicator of where this athlete is at, it doesn’t render her a spot on the roster for Rio until she replicates the effort in a top 2 finish in finals.

Runner-up in the semi’s, Sakiko Shimizu, earned a time of 2:24.73 to improve upon her morning swim by just under 2 seconds. Shimizu missed out on making the Olympic team this year in the 200m IM, so she’s no doubt determined to make the most of her remaining opportunities to potentially earn a spot on the roster in this 200 breast event.

15-year-old Runa Imai won’t quit, however, claiming the 3rd seed in a solid mark of 2:24.85, less than a tenth behind Shimizu. The former National Record Holder and 2015 World Champion in the event, Kanako Watanabe, is also a threat not to be ignored, sitting comfortably as the 4th seed, laying in wait to pounce in the final.

Top 8:

  1. Kaneto, 2:21.05
  2. Shimizu, 2:24.73
  3. Imai, 2:24.85
  4. Watanabe, 2:25.27
  5. Suzuki, 2:25.72
  6. Ishida, 2:26.50
  7. Satou, 2:27.28
  8. Aoki, 2:27.67

MEN’S 200 IM

  • Japanese National Record – 1:55.33, Kosuke Hagino (2014)
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 1:58.02

An incredible 5 Japanese men are ranked within the world’s top 10 times so far this season, with only America’s 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps having swum faster….until tonight’s finals session that is.

2015-2016 LCM Men 200 IM

MichaelUSA
PHELPS
08/11
1.54.66
2Kosuke
HAGINO
JPN1.55.0704/08
3Ryan
LOCHTE
USA1.56.2207/01
4Shun
WANG
CHN1.57.0508/11
5Thiago
PEREIRA
BRA1.57.1108/10
View Top 26»

In a time just .18 of a second off of American Ryan Lochte’s gold medal-winning time from last year’s World Championships, 21-year-old Kosuke Hagino simply dropped the hammer in tonight’s 200m IM semi-final. Hagino stunned the field with a time of 1:55.98, his best of the season by almost 2 seconds and easily the number one time in the world right now.

Hagino produced a super solid 1:58.88 in prelims, but crushed that time in finals tonight. In comparing the splits between the two initial swims in Tokyo for the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, it’s clear Hagino stepped hings up all around tonight, but especially maintained his higher tempo on the back half as opposed to his morning swim’s relative drop-off:

Hagino’s Prelim – 24.78/28.98/34.89/30.23 = 1:58.88
Hagino’s Semi – 24.43/28.58/34.06/28.91 = 1:55.98

The stud is already ranked as the world’s 4th-fastest performer of all time in the event with the 1:55.33 Japanese National Record he registered back in 2014. But, he has a chance to potentially bypass Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh on that list, needing to drop just .16 of a second to surpass Cseh’s 3rd-fastest result of all time, 1:55.18.

As for Hagino’s primary in-country rival, Daiya Seto, the time has now arrived for him to take things up to a new level in finals if he wants to survive the Rio-qualification test. Seto has been as fast as 1:57.72 so far this year, so the speed is certainly there. But he has two men named Fujimori, one Hiromasa and one Takeharu, hot on his heels, knocking down the door of the 2nd Olympic roster spot, assuming Hagino claims the 1st in tonight’s finals.

Seto, however, did have to leave some fuel in the tank for his 200m butterfly final later on this same session. Look for him to unleash his fury once he has this 200 IM as his solo finals session event.

Top 8:

  1. Hagino, 1:55.98
  2. Seto, 1:59.16
  3. H. Fujimori, 1:59.57
  4. T. Fujimori, 1:59.70
  5. Mizohata, 2:00.14
  6. Tutumi, 2:01.22
  7. Yamada, 2:01.50
  8. Takeuchi, 2:01.96

MEN’S 100 FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • Japanese National Record – 48.41, Katsumi Nakamura (2015)
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 48.16
  • The Podium –
    • Katsumi Nakamura, 48.25 (New National Record)
    • Shinri Shioura, 48.35
    • Kenji Kobase, 49.07

What a thriller! After an already history-making prelims where 12 Japanese men went sub-50 in the 100 free, tonight’s top 2 men both broke the existing Japanese National Record in the event.

The previous national record holder, Katsumi Nakamura, improved upon his swift 48.53 semi swim to register a monster 48.25 to represent the fastest Japanese man of all-time. That blows away his record by more than a tenth and further establishes Japan as a rising sprinting hotbed in its extreme infancy.

Right behind Nakamura was Shinri Shioura, who also dipped beneath the previous national record with a stellar mark of 48.35. As with his semi swim, Shioura took the race out faster than Nakamura, firing off an opening 50 of 23.05, but he wasn’t able to hang on, which rendered him in the silver medal spot.

As fast as these men were relative to sprinting history in Japan, neither of the top 2 men were able to score a mark beneath the Japanese Olympic-qualifying standard of 48.16 during the race. Pending a subjective decision by the Japanese Swimming Federation, the nation is without male 100m freestyle representation in Rio at this point.

WOMEN’S 100 FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • Japanese National Record – 53.99, Rikako Ikee (2016)
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 53.81
  • The Podium –
    • Miki Uchida, 53.88 (New National Record)
    • Rikako Ikee54.06
    • Yayoi Matsumoto, 54.43

We got treated to another outstanding sprint final as the top 2 Japanese women battled it out from the start. Japanese sprinting mainstay Miki Uchida took back her national record from 15-year-old Rikako Ikee tonight, becoming just the 2nd Japanese woman ever to clock a sub-54-second time.

53.88 is what Uchida churned out for the gold tonight, splitting 26.09/27.79. The mark puts Uchida just outside the world’s top 10 in the event this season.

Right behind was teenage phenom and former National Record Holder Ikee, who touched in 54.06 for silver, just .07 of a second off of her lifetime best of 53.99 from earlier this year. Ikee’s splits included 26.48/27.58 to score the runner-up spot tonight, taking her 3rd top-2 finish after having won the women’s 100m butterfly and 200m freestyle eventsearlier in the meet

As with the men, however, as fast as these females were, neither was able to clock a mark at or below the Japanese-dictated Olympic-qualifying standard of 53.81.

MEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY – FINAL

  • Japanese National Record – 1:52.97, Takeshi Matsuda (2008)
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 1:55.39
  • The Podium –
    • Daiya Seto, 1:54.14
    • Masato Sakai, 1:54.21
    • Nao Horomura, 1:55.98

Good news! This time, the top 2 finishers in an event both score times beneath the Japanese Olympic-qualifying standard. Daiya Seto, on a tough double after his 200m IM battle with Hagino earlier, soared to the top of the 200m butterfly podium tonight in a time of 1:54.14.

That time ranks as the number one performance in the world this season and makes it 2 individual events in Rio (so far) for Seto. He earlier qualified in the 400m IM. In that event, even though he finished 2nd to Hagino without a JPN Olympic standard, the JSF deemed his World Championship title worthy of securing a Rio roster spot in the race.

2015-2016 LCM Men 200 FLY

LaszloHUN
CSEH
05/19
1.52.91
2Michael
PHELPS
USA1.53.3608/09
3Masato
SAKAI
JPN1.53.4008/09
4Tamas
KENDERESEI
HUN1.53.6208/09
5Chad
LE CLOS
RSA1.54.0608/09
View Top 26»

Runner-up tonight, Masato Sakai dropped a solid 3 tenths of a second off his semi swim of 1:54.57 to register a silver-winning time of 1:54.21 to also rack up an Olympic-qualifying mark. For 20-year-old Sakai, this marks his first Olympic appearance.

Of note, 31-year-old double Olympic bronze medalist Takeshi Matsuda finishes just off the podium with a 4th place time of 1:57.14.

MEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE – FINAL

  • Japanese National Record – 2:07.01*, Akihiro Yamaguchi (2012), *WR
  • JPN Olympic Standard – 2:09.54
  • The Podium –
    • Yasuhiro Koseki, 2:08.14
    • Ippei Watanabe, 2:09.45
    • Hayato Watanabe, 2:09.91

For the 2nd event in a row, we saw the top 2 finishers fall under the stricter-than-FINA Olympic-qualifying times. Yasuhiro Koseki topped the field tonight in a time of 2:08.14 to overtake America’s Josh Prenot as the 2nd-fastest swimmer in the world this season.

2015-2016 LCM Men 200 BREAST

JoshUSA
PRENOT
06/30
2.07.17
2Ippei
WATANABE
JPN2.07.22*OR08/09
3Dmitriy
BALANDIN
KAZ2.07.4608/10
4Marco
KOCH
GER2.07.6901/30
5Anton
CHUPKOV
RUS2.07.7008/10
View Top 24»

Koseki didn’t particularly evenly split the race, taking his 200m out an incredibly fast 1:00.94 and coming home in 1:07.02. But, it was enough to hold off a charging Ippei Watanabe who scored the silver tonight in 2:09.45.

Of note, 33-year-old 4-time individual Olympic gold medalist Kosuke Kitajima finished 5th in a mark of 2:09.96. Earlier in the meet, Kitajima finished 2nd in the 100m breaststroke, but was only able to dip beneath that event’s Olympic-qualifying mark in the semi’s. The Japanese Swimming Federation would need to impose a subjective decision in order for Kitajima to make his historic 5th Olympic Games.

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MaxN96

Katsumi Nakamura 48.25 (23.43)
Shinri Shioura 48.35 (23.05)

both under old JPN national record but olympic standard 48.16
does this mean neither will get a swim?

OntarioSwimming

FINA A QTs are 48.99 and 54.43

So it will depend if Japan decides on fielding the medley or sprint relays. If they do, they will bring these sprinters, and once they are in, they can swim individual 100 since all of them have swum under FINA A.

MichaelTran

Hagino will swim 200IM 1:55 low tomorrow and maybe 1:54 mid to 1:54 high in Rio

dru

road is getting tougher for lochte..

I think phelps breaks the WR in this.. with hagino coming 2nd in 1:54 mid-high

thomaslurzfan

Another bad IM performance for Seto and Ikee also a bit disappointing at 100 free. Overall Japan has really progressed in sprint freestyle, they have a very good depth in most events.

OntarioSwimming

1. The “disappointing” 200 IM swim was only semi, and he qualified second fastest. Let’s hold off saying he is disappointing in 200 IM until the final tomorrow.
2. 200 IM semi was only less an hour before his 200 fly final, so waste unnecessary energy?
3. He crushed the 200 fly, in 1:54.1
4. His other “disappointing” IM swim was 400 IM where he had already been guaranteed a spot by the Japanese selectors on the virtue of being World Champion in that event.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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