SWIMMING AT THE 2018 ASIAN GAMES
The 2018 Asian Games continue tonight with finals of the women’s 50 back, 400 IM, 100 fly, and 800 free relay. The men will be competing in the 50 free, 200 breast, and 400 free. Among the swimmers to watch is Japanese IM star Yui Ohashi, who leads the way in the 400 IM. World Record holder Ippei Watanabe represents Japan in the 200 breast, while Olympic champion Sun Yang of China headlines the 400 free.
WOMEN’S 50 BACK
- Asian Record:
27.06, Zhao Jing (CHN), 2009 – WR
- Asian Games Record:
27.45, Gao Chang (CHN), 2010
China’s Liu Xiang is the new World Record holder. Xiang became the first women ever to break 27 seconds to take the gold in 26.98, erasing the former World Record and Asian Record of 27.06 formerly set by Zhao Jing. The record was nearly 10 years old as it was set in the 2009 supersuit era. China went 1-2 as Olympic 100 back medalist Fu Yuanhui touched in 27.68 ahead of Japan’s Natsumi Sakai (27.91).
MEN’S 50 FREE
- Asian Record: 21.87, Katsumi Nakamura (JPN), 2018
- Asian Games Record: 21.94, Ning Zetao (CHN), 2014
China’s Yu Hexin won a tight race to the wall in 22.11, out-touching Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura (22.20) by less than a tenth. Hexin was just over a tenth shy of the Asian Games Record as he topped Asian Record holder Nakamura, who set the Asian Record with his 21.87 back in February. Nakamura’s teammate Shunichi Nakao rounded out the podium in 22.46.
WOMEN’S 400 IM
- Asian Record: 4:28.43, Ye Shiwen (CHN), 2012
- Asian Games Record: 4:32.97, Ye Shiwen (CHN), 2014
- GOLD: Yui Ohashi, JPN, 4:34.58
- SILVER: Kim Seoyeong, KOR, 4:37.43
- BRONZE: Sakiko Shimizu, JPN, 4:39.10
Japan’s Yui Ohashi ran away with this one as expected, coming withing a second of her season best from Pan Pacs to win it in 4:34.58. With her time from Tokyo, Ohashi is the top ranked 400 IMer in the world this year.
Korea’s Kim Seoyeong moved up in the rankings and now sits just a couple of placed shy of the top 10 as she took silver in 4:37.43 ahead of Japan’s Pan Pacs bronze medalist Sakiko Shimizu (4:39.10). That’s about a second and a half shy of Seoyeong’s best from 2017 when she set the Korean Record .Shimizu is #10 in the world with her time from Pan Pacs.
MEN’S 200 BREAST
- Asian Record: 2:06.67, Ippei Watanabe (JPN), 2017 – WR
- Asian Games Record: 2:07.67, Dmitriy Balandin (KAZ), 2014
- GOLD: Yasuhiro Koseki, JPN, 2:07.81
- SILVER: Ippei Watanabe, JPN, 2:07.82
- BRONZE: Qin Haiyang, CHN, 2:08.07
It was a 3-man race into the finish as Japanese teammates Yasuhiro Koseki and Ippei Watanabe battled for the gold with China’s Qin Haiyang. Koeski held a slight lead the whole way through, holding off Watanabe by the slimmest possible margin at the finish as he won 2:07.81 to 2:07.82. Watanabe, the Pan Pacs champion and World Record holder, wound up with the silver and was just a few tenths shy of his season best from the Monaco stop of the Mare Nostrum. Watanabe is ranked 3rd in the world this year, while this swim moves Koseki up to #4.
Qin, who set the Chinese Record at the 2017 Chinese Nationals, took 3rd in 2:08.07 ahead of teamate Yan Zibei (2:11.07). That was a season best by over a second and moves him up to #7 in the world. Denis Petrashov, who took 5th in 2:12.19, set a new Kyrgyzstani Record.
WOMEN’S 100 FLY
- Asian Record: 56.07, Liu Zige (CHN), 2009
- Asian Games Record:
56.61, Chen Xinyi (CHN), 2014
Japan’s Rikako Ikee was just a couple of tenths off her best, dominating by a second in 56.30. That was a new Asian Games Record for Ikee, who won Pan Pacs this year as she came within a hundredth of the Asian Record. She’s the fastest 100 butterflier in the world for 2018 ahead of Olympic champion and World Record holder Sarah Sjostrom.
China’s Zhang Yufei put up a season best 57.40 to take the silver, while Korea’s An Sehyeon was just a few hundredths short of her season best for bronze in 58.00. Zhang is now ranked #9 in the world this year. Japan’s Ai Soma was just off the podium at 4th in 58.68.
MEN’S 400 FREE
China’s Sun Yang takes over as the fastest man in the world this year. Sun, who was formerly ranked 3rd as Olympic champion Mack Horton topped the rankings, dropped over a second off his season best in 3:42.93 and is now nearly a second ahead of Horton.
Japan’s Naito Ehara, who is ranked #12 this year with his performance from the Japan Swim, was a bout half a second shy of his season best in 3:47.14. Teammate Kosuke Hagino rounded out the medals in 3:47.30 for bronze. Hagino was the 2014 MVP of the Asian Games, where he took silver in the 400 free to contribute to his 7-for-7 medal performance. Also udner 3:50 tonight was Korea’s Hojoon Lee, who touched 4th in 3:48.28.
WOMEN’S 4×200 FREE RELAY PRELIMS
- Asian Record: 7:42.08, China, 2009 – WR
- Asian Games Record:
7:51.81, China, 2014
- GOLD: CHN, 7:48.61
- SILVER: JPN, 7:53.83
- BRONZE: HKG, 8:07.17
China blew away the field, winning by over 5 seconds and shattering the Asian Games Record by 3 seconds in 7:48.61. Li Bingjie got the ball rolling with her 1:56.94 leadoff split, followed by Wang Jianjiahe (1:55.35), Zhang Yuhan (1:58.37), and Yang Junxuan (1:57.95). Japan (7:53.83) was the only other team under 8:00. Straight after the 100 fly ceremony, Rikako Ikee stepped up with a 1:55.27 split on the 2nd leg. 400 IM champ Yui Ohashi (2:01.33) also joined her on that relay.