2021 Japanese Olympic Trials Day 5 Finals Live Recap




JPN National Record – 47.87, Katsumi Nakamura, 2018
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 48.33

GOLD – Katsumi Nakamura, 48.23 Olympic Qualifying
SILVER – Katsuo Matsumoto, 48.37
BRONZE – Kaiya Seki, 48.87

On the whole, this men’s 100m freestyle final was on the quiet side for this being Japan’s sole Olympic qualifying competition. Just one man got under the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF)-mandated Olympic qualifying standard of 48.33 in Katsumi Nakamura.

Nakamura knocked down a time of 48.23 to slither under the QT of 48.33. That was enough to qualify but well-off his lifetime best and national record of 47.87.

Runner-up this evening came in the form of the 200m freestyle Olympic qualifier here, Katsuo Matsumoto. Matsumoto just ripped a new personal best en route to finishing just .14 outside of Nakamura in 48.37. Entering this meet, the 24-year-old’s PB was represented by the 48.52 he put up in 2019. Although Matsumoto’s time is .04 shy of the standard, the JASF may allow him to race the event as he has already qualified in the 200m free.

Rounding out the top 3 was Kaiya Seki, who clocked just his 2nd sub-49 second time ever to make it onto the podium. 4th place tonight went to Namba Akira in 48.88, which means the top 4 finishers’ collective result of 3:14.35 dips under the JASF QT of 3:15.70 needed to field a men’s 4x100m free relay squad at a home-based Games.

Of note, however, former national record holder in this event, Shinri Shioura, was shut out. He ranked 5th in just 49.07. He’ll have the 50m free later on in the meet.



JPN National Record – 2:04.69, Natsumi Hoshi 2012
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 2:08.43

GOLD – Suzuka Hasegawa, 2:07.24 Olympic Qualifying
SILVER – Hiroko Makino, 2:08.66
BRONZE – Kina Hayashi, 2:08.76

2016 Olympian Suzuka Hasegawa got it done to make her 2nd Games squad, posting a winning effort of 2:07.24 in this women’s 200m fly.

Entering this meet the 21-year-old held a season-best mark of 2:07.82 to rank as the 6th fastest swimmer in the world. Tonight’s result sliced over half a second off of that outing to remain in that 6th slot with a home-based Games just over 100 days away.

Hasegawa represented the only swimmer in the final to get under the stiff JASF-mandated QT of 2:08.43. Falling just shy was past national champion Hiroko Makino, punching a result of 2:08.66 while 3rd place finisher, Kina Hayashi, was just .10 outside silver in 2:08.76.



JPN National Record – 2:06.67, Ippei Watanabe 2017
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 2:08.28

GOLD – Shoma Sato, 2:06.40 *National Record, Olympic Qualifying
SILVER – Ryuya Mura, 2:07.58 Olympic Qualifying
BRONZE – Ippei Watanabe, 2:08.30

In a Tokyo stunner, 19-year-old Shoma Sato ripped an incredible swim of 2:06.40 in the men’s 200m breast to become the #2 performer all-time. Sato already ranked as the #1 swimmer in the world this season headed into these Trials, having posted a mark of 2:06.74 just this past February.

Tonight, however, the now-Tokyo-bound teen scorched .34 off of that previous result to crush a new Japanese national record.

Surprisingly, behind Sato was a man not named Ippei Watanabe, as Ryuya Mura surged to the wall in the runner-up slot with a monster lifetime best of 2:07.58. Mura had never before been under the 2:08 threshold, but tonight he qualified for his first Olympic squad, shutting out Watanabe.

We are checking into whether Watanabe, the man who ranks as the #3 swimmer in the world already this season in 2:07.02, is injured or sick; or, if the man simply had an off-race.

You can read the full race analysis in Sato’s record post here.


JPN National Record – 7:49.65, Takeshi Matsuda 2009
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 7:48.12

GOLD – Shui Kurokawa, 7:49.55 *National Record
SILVER – Shogo Takeda, 7:50.22
BRONZE – Ryo Nakajima, 7:58.44

This men’s 800m free is representative of how stiff the JASF-dictated Olympic qualification standards are, as a national record-setting swim still didn’t make the squad.

Taking the gold tonight in this 8free was 19-year-old Shui Kurokawa, with the man firing off a lifetime best of 7:49.55. That overtook Olympian Takeshi Matsuda’s previous Japanese standard of 7:49.65, a time that’s been on the books since 2009.

However, Kurokawa needed at least 7:48.12 to be named to the Japanese Olympic squad, meaning the swimmer fell well over a second outside of that threshold.

Look for a detailed post about Kurokawa’s record after this session wraps up.


JPN National Record – 52.79, Rikako Ikee 2018
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 53.31

Top 8:

  1. Rikako Ikee, 54.36
  2. Chihiro Igarashi, 54.74
  3. Rika Omoto, 54.79
  4. Natsumi Sakai, 54.87
  5. Rio Shirai, 54.90
  6. Tomomi Aoki, 55.11
  7. Yui Yamane, 55.24
  8. Aya Sato, 55.42

The stage is set for another inspirational performance by leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee. The 20-year-old ace just claimed the top seed in this women’s 100m free for tomorrow night’s final, stopping the clock in 54.36. Ikee, who only returned to racing last August, already captured an Olympic roster spot here on the medley relay by way of her 100m fly victory.

Remarkably negative-splitting this 1free race 27.22/27.14, Ikee was right on the pace from her morning swim of 54.30. She holds nearly a .40 advantage over next-in-line-swimmer Chihiro Igarashi, while Rika Omoto, Natsumi Sakai and Rio Shirai were also under 55 seconds in this semifinal.


JPN National Record – 1:52.51, Ryosuke Irie 2009
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 1:57.26

Top 8:

  1. Ryosuke Irie, 1:57.53
  2. Masato Sakai, 1:58.08
  3. Hidekazu Takehara, 1:58.15
  4. Ryota Naito, 1:58.78
  5. Kodai Nishiono, 1:59.07
  6. Keita Sunama, 1:59.24
  7. Ryuka Ino, 1:59.52
  8. Osamu Kato, 1:59.65

Beating out men nearly half his age, 31-year-old Ryosuke Irie seemingly effortlessly landed lane 4 once again for tomorrow night’s 200m back final. Stopping the clock in a mark of 1:57.53, Irie is already comfortably dancing around the 1:57.26 JASF-mandated QT needed to qualify for Tokyo, a Games which would mark the veteran medalists’ 3rd appearance.

Barring disqualification, this is truly Irie’s race to lose, while the battle for the runner-up spot will be both among the remaining competitors but also the field against the clock to get under 1:57.26.

Of note, 400m IM Olympic champion from Rio, Kosuke Hagino, was set to take on the grueling double of the 200m back and 200m IM in this moring’s prelims. The 26-year-old wound up dropping the 200m back, however.


JPN National Record – 2:19.65, Rie Kaneto 2016
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 2:24.18

Top 8:

  1. Yukino Miyasaka, 2:25.23
  2. Nana Sogabe, 2:25.65
  3. Haruna Ogata, 2:25.97
  4. Shiori Asaba, 2:25.99
  5. Sakiko Shimizu, 2:26.35
  6. Satomi Suzuki, 2:26.42
  7. Reona Aoki, 2:26.81

New names abound in this women’s 200m breaststroke, an event in which there’s no clear favorite, Retired Rie Kaneto took gold in this event at the last Olympics in Rio but it appears unlikely the nation will be able to repeat the feat, or even potentially have a finalist, as the women battle to make the JASF-grade of 2:24.18 to even qualify.

Leading the way is Yukino Miyasaka, clocking 2:25.23 as 1 of 4 swimmers to get under 2:26. Veterans Sakiko Shimizu and Satomi Suzuki are also among the top 8, as is Reona Aoki, a bigger player in the 100m breast.


JPN National Record – 1:55.07, Kosuke Hagino 2016
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 1:57.98

Top 8:

  1. Kosuke Hagino, 1:58.07
  2. Daiya Seto, 1:58.30
  3. Shuya Matsumoto, 1:58.97
  4. Hiromasa Fujimori, 1:59.71
  5. Ippei Miyamoto, 1:59.93
  6. Takumi Uchiyama, 1:59.96
  7. Genki Terakado, 2:00.13
  8. Kaito Tabuchi, 2:00.34

Even with Daiya Seto already having qualified for the Olympic Games in this 200m IM event by way of his 2019 World Championships gold, an intense dual is set to take place tomorrow night between him and domestic rival Kosuke Hagino.

Hagino posted the top time of the semi in 1:58.07, with Seto right behind in 1:58.30. Shuya Matsumoto also got under 1:59 with a semi swim of 1:58.97.

Hagino already qualified for the Olympic squad as a member of the 800m free relay and he dropped his original plan of taking on the 200m back/200m IM double in favor of focusing on this race entirely. We’ll see what he has in store tomorrow evening as the 26-year-old tries to make his 3rd Olympic squad.

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Sakura Sakura
1 year ago

Sleepless -Watching the semi/finals live every night so late. Cannot sleep afterwards because of excitement and shock…

What amazes most -many of those winners are not tall. The 17-year old Ageha Tanigawa (4 IM) only 5’2 . Shona Sato is like 5’9”. Seto, Hagino about same. Then Tomoru Honda is about 5’6-7.”

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
1 year ago

Smart play by Hagino to aboid the Lochte double and go all in on the IM.

Shame about Watanabe, 3rd in both breaststrokes 🙁

1 year ago

Men’s 200 Breast is the most unpredictable event

1 year ago

Rikako Ikee 54:36 in 100free semis with negative split(opened in 27.22).What a nice comeback after leukemia.

1 year ago

Elizabeth Dekkers,age 16, just swam 2.07.25 at Australian age nationals for 200 fly.

Reply to  Joel
1 year ago

It’s such miserable weather here on the coast for an outdoor swim meet. I hope this weather is gone before open nationals next week.

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

It looks like clearing up in the next few days. Not sure why they choose open air pools near the ocean for age nationals and nationals. It’s unfair on the swimmers. Especially when these times could possibly count towards Olympic qualification if Adelaide borders close up.

Reply to  Joel
1 year ago

Maybe they chose outdoors because of covid. Less restrictions outdoors if there’s an outbreak nearby.

1 year ago

Shoma Sato!!!! So surprised Watanabe didn’t make top 2 though.

Last edited 1 year ago by Landen
1 year ago

Shoma Sato blasts 2:06.40 a new National Record (28.88,1:00.89,1:33.39)

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  DDias
1 year ago

Watanabe is 3rd and won’t go to Olympics what the hell.

Chalmers > Dressel
Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
1 year ago

Wow what is the time of the 2nd?

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Chalmers > Dressel
1 year ago

2:07.58 by Ryuya Mura.
Watanabe 2:08.30.

Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
1 year ago

He was two tenths ahead of Mura at the 100 and 150 and fell apart in the last 50, which is pretty uncharacteristic of him.

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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