2021 Japanese Olympic Trials Day 3 Finals Live Recap



JPN National Record – 1:45.13, Katsuhiro (Katsuo) Matsumoto 2021
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 1:45.76

GOLD – Katsuo Matsumoto, 1:44.65 *National Record, Olympic Qualifying
SILVER – Konosuke Yanagimoto, 1:47.45
BRONZE – Kosuke Hagino, 1:47.72

In a stunning display of speed, 24-year-old Katsuo Matsumoto broke the national record en route to topping this men’s 200m free podium. Firing off a history-making time of 1:44.65, Matsumoto becomes Japan’s first-ever sub-1:45 second 200m freestyler, beating his own previous national standard of 1:45.13 from just January of this year.

Behind Matsumoto tonight was young gun Konosuke Yanagimoto, who touched in 1:47.45 as just a 17-year-old. Rounding out the top 3 was Kosuke Hagino, putting up a respectable 1:47.72, although the one-time national record holder in this event will not be pleased with that result.

Of note, the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF) established a minimum individual qualification time of 1:45.76 for the postponed Olympic Games, which means only Matsumoto has booked his spot outright tonight. Additionally, the federation set a minimum threshold of 7:08.31 for the men’s 800m free relay. The aforementioned top 3 finishers, along with 4th placed Takahashi Kotaro‘s 1:47.93 collectively comes in at 7:07.75, good enough to qualify.

You can read more about Matsumoto’s incredible swim here.


JPN National Record – 58.70, Aya Terakawa 2013
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 59.71

GOLD – Anna Konishi, 59.93
SILVER – Natsumi Sakai, 1:00.28
BRONZE – Sayaka Akase, 1:00.85

The women’s 100m back was on the sluggish side tonight, with just one swimmer snagging a time under the minute threshold. Topping the podium in a time of 59.93 was Anna Konishi, with Natsumi Sakai less than half a second behind in 1:00.28. Sayaka Akase also wound up on the podium in 1:00.85.

Somewhat surprisingly, 21-year-old Rio Shirai faded to 4th place overall, touching in 1:00.98. Shirai owns a lifetime best of 59.43 from 2019 and has been making strides in this discipline as of late.

The JASF-manded time standard for the Olympic Games sits at 59.71, which means no woman qualified outright for a spot on the roster individually, although Konishi will join last night’s 100m fly victor, Rikako Ikee, on the women’s medley relay.


JPN National Record – 52.24, Ryosuke Irie 2009
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 53.40

GOLD – Ryosuke Irie, 53.13 Olympic Qualifying
SILVER – Masaki Kaneko, 54.04
BRONZE – Junya Hasegawa, 54.12

31-year-old Ryosuke Irie proved once again that age is just a number, taking the meet title here in the men’s 100m backstroke in a solid 53.13.

Leading the field from the get-go in 25.83 and closing in 27.30, the seasoned veteran was just off his season-best of 53.04, a time from last December which rendered the Olympian as the 5th fastest performer in the world this season.

Irie’s victory here now renders the smooth-stroking ace as a 3-time Olympian, qualifying him for this 100m back event both individually, as well as lead-off of the men’s medley relay. He’s the only competitor to dip under the 53.40 qualifying time set forth by JASF, with runner-up Masaki Kaneko and bronze medalist Junya Hasegawa both well behind in 54.04 and 54.12, respectively.

Of note, competing in these Trials after having served a doping suspension, Junya Koga placed 7th in 55.10


JPN National Record – 1:05.88, Kanako Watanabe 2014
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 1:06.97

GOLD – Kanako Watanabe, 1:06.51 Olympic Qualifying
SILVER – Reona Aoki, 1:06.56 Olympic Qualifying
BRONZE – Suzuki Satomi, 1:07.18

An encouraging result was seen in this women’s 100m breaststroke final, with the top 2 finishers each getting under the Olympic-qualifying standard of 1:06.97.

Leading the way was national record holder Kanako Watanabe, with the Olympian producing a top time of 1:06.51, edging out runner-up Reona Aoki by just .05 in the process. Aoki roared to the 50m wall first in an opening split of 30.88 but Watanabe kicked it into gear on the back half to close her own race in 34.90 to Aoki’s 35.68.

The pair shake up the world rankings among the top 10 performers this season, with Watanabe checking in slot #6 and Aoki just behind in #8.

Left out of Olympic qualification was Suzuki Satomi, who settled for 3rd place tonight in 1:07.18. The 30-year-old raced this event at the last Olympic Games in Rio, finishing 12th.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Breast

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JPN National Record – 1:54.85, Rikako Ikee 2018
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 1:56.82

TOP 8:

  1. Chihiro Igarashi – 1:58.90
  2. Nagisa Ikemoto – 1:59.25
  3. Rio Shirai – 1:59.62
  4. Tomomi Aoki – 1:59.75
  5. Aoi Masuda – 1:59.78
  6. Waka Kobori – 2:00.03
  7. Miwa Imai – 2:00.25
  8. Kinuko Mochizuki – 2:00.66

Qualification on an individual level in this women’s 200m free is at-risk, with the field all bordering the 2:00 mark through tonight’s semi-final. Getting on the board with the top time was Chihiro Igarashi, putting up 1:58.90, while next in line was 18-year-old Nagisa Ikemoto in 1:59.25.

Just a handful of swims after her 100m back final, Rio Shirai staked her claim on this women’s 2free with a 3rd-seeded effort of 1:59.75. Also, the women’s 400m freestyle winner and Olympic qualifier here, Waka Kobori, got it done to make the final as the 6th-seeded swimmer in 2:00.03.

A minimum of 1:58.13 is needed to be added to the Japanese roster in the women’s 800m free relay, so we’ll be monitoring that in addition to the individual threshold of 1:56.82 come tomorrow night’s final.


JPN National Record – 1:52.53, Daiya Seto 2020
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 1:56.25

TOP 8:

  1. Tomoru Honda, 1:54.93
  2. Daiya Seto, 1:55.56
  3. Teppei Morimoto, 1:56.11
  4. Daiki Tanaka, 1:56.12
  5. Takumi Terada, 1:56.19
  6. Nao Horomura, 1:56.30
  7. Yuki Kobori, 1:57.27
  8. Yuya Sakamoto, 1:57.61

An incredible 5 men dipped under the Japanese Swimming Federation-mandated Olympic qualifying mark of 1:56.25 in tonight’s semifinal of the 200m fly. Although the top 2 finishers must get under the threshold in tomorrow night’s final, the fact that there is a deep field of potential candidates bodes well for Japan’s chances of a medal in this event at a home-based Games.

Tomoru Honda churned out the first sub-1:55 result of his career, leading the pack in 1:54.93. Entering this meet, Honda’s personal best rested at the 1:55.31 he produced at the 2019 FINA World Junior Championships. That garnered him the silver medal there in Budapest behind winner Luca Urlando of the United States.

With this result, Honda checks-in as Japan’s 7th fastest performer all-time in this men’s 2fly event.

Playing it cool with a 2nd-seeded 1:55.56, the short course world record holder in this event, Daiya Seto, held steady to book his ticket to tomorrow’s big dance, while the next 3 swimmers could also make a run at one of the top 2 spots.

18-year-old Teppei Miromoto especially came out of nowhere to log a big-time 1:56.12 tonight. Entering this meet, the teen’s career-quickest was represented by the 1:57.69 he put up in February of this year. As such, in just a few months’ time, the young man dropped about 1 1/2 seconds to put his name in contention for possible Olympic qualification.


JPN National Record – 2:07.91, Yui Ohashi 2017
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 2:10.49

TOP 8:

  1. Yui Ohashi, 2:10.74
  2. Rika Omoto, 2:11.59
  3. Miho Teramura, 2:12.42
  4. Mio Narita, 2:13.43
  5. Sao Yokota, 2:14.01
  6. Ageha Tanigawa, 2:14.66
  7. Shiho Matsumoto, 2:15.18
  8. Mao Ichinohe, 2:15.41

Barring a disqualification, this women’s 200m IM is Yui Ohashi‘s event to lose, with the national record holder posting a semi time of 2:10.74. That nearly already dipped under the OLY qualifying time of 2:10.49, claiming lane 4 for tomorrow night’s show.

Chasing Ohashi, as well as the time standard will be Rika Omoto and Miho Teramura, positioned as the 2nd and 3rd fastest swimmers in 2:11.59 and 2:12.42, respectively.

Ohashi owns the 2IM national record in 2:07.91 and has already been as quick as 2:09.59 this season to rank #3 in the world.

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16 days ago

Matunmoto 1.44.65!!!

Reply to  dddd
16 days ago

Really attacked the first half: 50.42/54.23

Reply to  dddd
16 days ago

New NR.

16 days ago

I hear Lapsis and Scott trembling …

Reply to  dddd
16 days ago

Only Sun is trembling.

16 days ago

Matsumoto going insane on that. Hagino in the relay I think, surprised Ehara Natio didn’t get top 4. now wondering how hagino will handle doing the 200 back and 200 IM final back to back.

About Retta Race

Retta 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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