2018 Japan Swim Day 4 Prelims: Ippei Watanabe On The Move


There were only 4 events contested during this morning’s heats session in Tokyo, while tonight’s finals session carries 3 semi-finals and 6 finals. In the women’s 200m butterfly, Suzuka Hasegawa got her hand on the wall first for the top-seeded time of 2:09.58, the only sub-2:10 outing of the morning.

Hasegawa is the reigning World Junior Record holder, owning a personal best time of 2:06.29 from this same meet last year. She’ll try to carry on the tradition of gold medalist Natsumi Hoshi, who retired after claiming bronze in this event at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Seemingly ageless Ryosuke Irie will try to double up on his 100m backstroke gold from earlier in the meet with a 200m title here in Tokyo as well. He has set himself up nicely as the top seed, earning a morning swim of 2:00.07. But, the 28-year-old will have his hands full with a string of competitors also in the 2:00 range this morning, including Ryota Naitou (2:00.75), Hayate Matsubara (2:00.76), Hinata Sakai (2:00.88) and Meguru Hotta (2:00.97).

The men’s 200m breaststroke prelim was also a very tightly packed field, with Rintarou Ohkubo leading the way in the morning’s fastest effort of 2:11.21. Current world record holder in the event, Ippei Watanabe, is right in the mix just .03 behind in 2:11.24, while Yukihiro Takahashi took the 3rd seed in 2:11.71. The next 3 swimmers all fall less than a second off of the leader headed into tonight’s semi-final.

Waka Kobori was the women’s 400m freestyle leader of the morning, swimming her way to the top seeded time of 4:12.24.

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Don’t really know where to post this, but will there be coverage of Canadian nationals that started yesterday?


IMHO semifinal in a National Championship are useless, maybe even dangerous. If you swim the 200 breast heat in 2.11 in a WC or in the OG you are out of the semifinal…


Hoshi didnt “claim top prize 200 fly in Rio”.

Belmonte did.

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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