2016 Japanese Olympic Trials Day 6 Prelims Live Recap



  • Japanese National Record – 21.88, Shinri Shioura (2014)
  • JPN OLY Standard – 21.87

The 4th place finisher in the men’s 100m freestyle rose to the occasion during prelims of the splash n’ dash this morning, as 28-year-old Junya Koga clinched the top seed in 22.53. That’s the quickest the Club Wolverine Elite-trained athlete has been this season, as prior to this meet his recent best was the 22.68 he clocked at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Austin this past January.

But, Shinri Shioura is out to defend his 50m freestyle national title, touching just .03 of a second behind Koga in 22.56 for the 2nd seed. At the Perth Aquatic Super Series earlier this year, Shioura earned a mark of 22.15, which is positioned as the 17th fastest in the world. Friendly reminder that Shioura is the National Record Holder in the event in 21.88, so he’ll be looking to replicate that kind of performance to earn an Olympic berth.

On-fire Katsumi Nakamura, who already nabbed the 100m freestyle victory at this meet in a new Japanese National Record, is comfortably positioned as the 4th seed in 22.78.

Of note, this is one of the few events where the Japanese Olympic standard is set quicker than the national record.

Top 8:

  1. Koga, 22.53
  2. Shioura, 22.56
  3. Kobase, 22.70
  4. Nakamura, 22.78
  5. Nanba, 22.82
  6. Ito, 22.86
  7. Matsui, 22.90
  8. Nakao, 22.96


  • Japanese National Record – 24.74, Rikako Ikee (2016)
  • JPN OLY Standard – 24.59

As of prelims, no one dropped beneath the 25-second threshold, as Syoko Tanabe nabbed the top seed in a time of 25.68. That mark is already a vast improvement over Tanabe’s 8th place finish of 2015 where the then 21-year-old didn’t crack 26 seconds (26.02).

The next two seeds belong to the 100m freestyle silver and gold medalists, however, so Tanabe has highly-talented company at the top. 15-year-old Rikako Ikee, who claimed the 100m freestyle runner-up position, clocked an opening 25.76, while the 100m freestyle winner, Miki Uchida, touched in 25.91 this morning. Uchida won this event last year in 25.01 and already clocked the longer sprint’s national record yesterday, so she has to be riding on that momentum into this 50 race.

But, both Ikee and Uchida have clocked sub-25-second outings this season, proving they’re capable of coming close to the highly ambitious Japanese Olympic standard of 24.59. Uchida’s best time is the 24.95 she rocked at the World Cup in Tokyo, while Ikee clocked the new national record of 24.74 while competing at the Konami Open this past February.

Top 8:

  1. Tanabe, 25.68
  2. Ikee, 25.76
  3. Uchida, 25.91
  4. Okano, 25.98
  5. Satou, 25.99
  6. Amano, 26.02,
  7. Ouchi, 26.04
  8. Yamaguchi, 26.10


  • Japanese National Record – 51.00, Kohei Kawamoto (2009)
  • JPN OLY Standard – 51.64

With only 2 Japanese men situated within the world’s top 25, the men’s 100m butterfly is one of the weaker events for this contingency. As such, it’s a tightly-packed field out of prelims, with just over half a second separating the entire top 8.

At 30 years of age, Takurou Fujii leads the pack with his time of 52.49, followed by Takaya Yasue in 52.81.  The two men who appear in the world rankings also made it to the semi-finals, as Masayuki Umemoto earned the 4th seed and Takeshi Kawamoto sneaked into the 8th spot after prelims. The two men hold the 24th and 20th fastest times in the world, with Umemoto having clocked a 52.51 and Kawamoto owns a season-best of 52.44.

Top 8:

  1. Fujii, 52.49
  2. Yasue, 52.81
  3. K. Kawamoto, 52.82
  4. Umemoto, 52.84
  5. Hamaya, 52.85
  6. Kishida, 52.97
  7. Sakai, 53.10
  8. T. Kawamoto, 53.19


  • Japanese National Record – 2:07.13, Reiko Nakamura (2008)
  • JPN OLY Standard – 2:08.76

As with the 100m backstroke, whereby no finalist clocked a sub-minute mark, we very well may not see a swimmer dip beneath the 2:10 barrier through the finals of the 200m version.  Entering the meet, the top 3 Japanese swimmers in this event comprise the final 3 slots of the world’s top 25 rankings, with Yuriko Saito (2:10.16) sitting in 23rd, Natsumi Sakai (2:10.20) as 24th and Megumi Kamimura (2:10.31) in 25th, so we’ve yet to see a 2:09 swimmer from Japan so far this season.

Yuka Kawayoke did her part to reap the number one seed this morning in a time of 2:10.97, followed by 20-year-old Mayuko Gotou whose result jumped into the 2:11-zone in 2:11.23. The remaining women clocked times between 2:11.46 and 2:12.74, so they’ll need to make some major moves in the next round if anyone wants to come close to the Japanese Rio-qualifying time of 2:08.76.

Top 8:

  1. Kawayoke, 2:10.97
  2. Gotou, 2:11.23
  3. Takahashi, 2:11.46
  4. Sakai, 2:11.72
  5. Kamimura, 2:12.37
  6. Teramoto, 2:12.47
  7. Konishi, 2:12.73
  8. Yuhara, 2:12.74


  • Japanese National Record – 14:54.80, Kohei Yamamoto (2014)
  • JPN OLY Standard – 14:55.30

*Men’s 1500 Freestyle prelim results will be included in the Day 6 Finals Recap

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About Retta Race

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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