2020 JAPAN SWIM
- Thursday, December 3rd – Sunday, December 6th
- Prelims: Staggered start; Finals: Estimated 5 pm local (3 am EST)
- Tokyo Aquatics Centre
- LCM (50m)
- Entries (in Japanese)
- Live Stream
- SwimSwam Preview #1
- SwimSwam Preview #2
- Day 1 Recap/Day 2 Recap
With the 2019 World Champion in the men’s 200m IM Daiya Seto out of this Japan Swim competition due to a morals suspension, the spotlight was entirely on comeback kid Kosuke Hagino tonight in Tokyo.
Hagino already topped the men’s 400m IM podium here at the 2020 Japan Swim but was intent on making his double complete with a gold in the sprint IM this evening.
After posting a morning effort of 1:59.42 as one of two swimmers under the 2:00 mark in the 2IM heats, Hagino progressed to a final effort of 1:57.67 to reap the national title. It wasn’t a trouncing, however, as runner-up Keita Sunama touched less than half a second behind in 1:57.98. That’s near Sunama’s PB of 1:57.49 from 3 years ago.
For Hagino, the man who became a dad earlier this year took a 5-month hiatus in 2019 to tend to mind and body, coming back to racing just in November. He had said that the Olympic postponement was actually a blessing in his particular case, giving the 26-year-old reigning 400m IM Olympic champion time to get back to prime form.
This is a solid effort from Hagino, who is just coming off a rapid-fire season of racing as a member of the new ISL team of the Tokyo Frog Kings and headed straight to this competition.
Remarkably, the women split the race the exact same way, each firing off a 50m opener of 26.46 before closing in 28.18 Of note, 3rd place finisher Chihiro Igarashi also opened in 26.46, producing a final mark of 54.75.
Omoto owns a lifetime best of 54.16 in this 100m free event, sitting as Japan’s 4th fastest performer all-time, while Sakai’s PB was closer to tonight’s outing, represented by the 54.48 from last year.
Undefeated ISl 200m flyer Suzuka Hasegawa did what she had to in order to get the gold in her pet event tonight, logging a time of 2:08.31. That beat the next closest swimmer by over a second.
Hasegawa already put the world on notice in this event with the monster 2:05.62 2fly she threw down just this past August in Tokyo. You can read more about that swim here.
In a thrilling battle, the men’s 200m fly saw the top 3 finishers separated by just .30.
Leading the way was Tomoru Honda, who got to the wall first in a time of 1:56.36. Splitting 56.03/1:00.33, Honda produced an effort that beat out Takumi Terada and Yuya Sakamoto, both of whom landed on the podium in silver and bronze, respectively. Terada checked in at 1:56.43 while Sakamoto hit 1:56.66.
Going back to Honda, the 18-year-old was the one who replaced Seto on the Tokyo Frog Kings roster for ISL season 2. Honda is no stranger to the spotlight, albeit more prolific on the junior circuit. He took bronze in the LCM 200 fly at the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships and followed that up with silver in the same event at last year’s World Junior Championships.
- Japan’s national record holder Yui Ohashi was absent again today, giving Miho Teramura the chance to snag the women’s 200m IM title. Teramura touched in 2:11.12 as one of three athletes in the 2:11 range. Settling for silver was Sakiko Shimizu in 2:11.25, while Rika Omoto was right there for bronze in 2:11.63.
- The women’s 800m free saw Kinuko Mochizuki double up on her 400m free from night 1. She stopped the clock tonight in a time of 8:32.68, a time that would have placed 4th at the 2018 Asian Games.
- The 200m freestyle national record holder and World Championships silver medalist Katsuo Matsumoto collected gold in the 400m free tonight in a time of 3:49.52. That’s a new PB for the man who owns the national record of 3:37.94 in the short course edition of the event.