2020 TOKYO SPECIAL SWIMMING TOURNAMENT
- Saturday, August 29th & Sunday, August 30th
- Tatsumi International Swimming Centre
- LCM (50m)
- Timed Finals
- Entries (in Japanese)
As with most of the swimming community, Japanese swimmers have been void of racing opportunities for quite some time due to the coronavirus pandemic. The nation’s key Olympic qualifying event, the Japan Swim, was originally slated for April but was canceled upon the announcement that the 2020 Olympic Games would be postponed to 2021.
There have been prefectural-level meets taking place recently, including the Niigata Summer Club Challange, which saw Naoki Mizunuma posted Japan’s 4th fastest 100m fly performance ever with his 51.26 stunner.
But we now have another meet on the short horizon, as the Tokyo Special Swimming Tournament gest underway this weekend with some big names on the docket.
The meet is a special production of the Tokyo Swimming Association to give swimmers an opportunity to compete after lost meets and practices due to the coronavirus pandemic. Multi-Olympic gold medalist Kosuke Kitajima, now Chairman of the Tokyo Swimming Association, says of the meet, “I want children and seniors to have peace of mind with proper guidelines” in terms of controlling as much of the health and safety of the environment at the meet as possible.
Top Swimmers to Watch:
- Rikako Ikee– As we reported, 20-year-old leukemia survivor Ikee is entered in the 50m freestyle this weekend. Any finish will be an inspirational accomplishment for the 2018 Asian Games MVP who has only been back in the water since earlier this year after nearly a year in the hospital.
- Ryosuke Irie – The seemingly never-slowing-down mainstay of elite international backstroke, 30-year-old Irie is set to contest the men’s 100m and 200m backstroke events.
- Junya Koga – Once banned Koga seeks redemption as one of the entrants, with the man expected to race the 50m and 100m back, as we reported.
- Shinri Shioura – The national record holder in the men’s 50m free will be taking on that event, as well as the 100m free.
- Rio Shirai – The versatile rising star is entered in the 200m free and 100m back this weekend in Tokyo. After a standout 2019 which saw Shirai hit a PB of 2:07.37 in the 200m back, she recently made her mark at the Hyogo Prefectural Championships.
- Takeharu Fujimori – Having served his 4-month suspension for a positive doping test, Fujimori will make his racing return this weekend as well, contesting the 50m free and 200m IM.