2020 Japan Swim: Hagino Hits Untapered 1:57.67 200 IM


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.

The women’s 100m free saw Natsumi Sakai get it done for gold, clocking a time of 54.64. However, the 19-year-old wasn’t alone, as Rika Omoto hit that same mark to make it a tie for the top prize.

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.

Of note, Nato Horomura settled for 4th in 1:57.28, while Olympic silver medalist Masato Sakai, as well as Yuya Yajima both abstained from this morning’s prelims.

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.

Additional Winners:

  • 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.

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2 years ago

He is getting dangerous

2 years ago

Hagino and Seto have really been each other’s foils their entire career.
2013 Seto won WCs after Hagino was too tried from 6 events
2014 Hagino crushed Pan Pacs and won swimmer of the year
2015 Hagino was injured and Seto won again
2016 Hagino won the Olympics while Seto was 3rd
2017 they were evenish
2018 Hagino was burned out while Seto won SCM worlds
2019 Hagino still out; Seto won LCM worlds
2020 Seto had his affair and now Hagino is looking like he’s back

They’re also 3 months apart in age, and also got married and had kids around the same time

2 years ago

Hagino is looking promising already!

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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