2021 Japanese Olympic Trials Day 4 Live Recap



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

GOLD – Chihiro Igarashi, 1:57.47
SILVER – Rio Shirai, 1:58.37
BRONZE – Aoi Masuda, 1:58.86

Chihiro Igarashi claimed the top prize in the first event of the evening, the women’s 200m freestyle. Igarashi clocked a time of 1:57.47 to earn the only result under 1:58, with her time falling just .37 outside of her lifetime best.

However, the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF)-mandated time standard to qualify in this event individually at the Olympic Games rests at a swift 1:56.82. As such, no Japanese woman qualified for a home-based Games in this event.

On the relay level, runner-up Rio Shirai, 3rd place finisher Aoi Masuda and 4th place swimmer Nagisa Ikemoto‘s times tonight all add up to 7:53.88, which misses the Olympic qualification time of 7:52.50 set forth by JASF. Following the selection policy strictly would mean that there would not be a women’s 800m free relay from Japan at a home-based Games.


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

GOLD – Tomoru Honda, 1:54.88 Olympic Qualifying
SILVER –  Daiya Seto, 1:55.20 Olympic Qualifying
BRONZE – Teppei Morimoto, 1:55.82*

As if yesterday’s men’s 200m fly semifinal wasn’t eye-popping enough, with 6 men clocking times of 1:56.3 or faster, tonight’s showdown was a thrilling battle right to the very end.

Dualing from start to finish in the quest to qualify for the Olympic Games, Tomoru Honda and Daiya Seto duked it out from the get-go, with Honda ultimately grabbing the gold.

Seto started off quickly with an opening 100m of 54.59 to Honda’s 54.89, but Honda gained momentum through the back half to surge ahead and nab his second time under the 1:55 barrier. 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, while last night his 1:54.93 was his first foray under 1:55.

For Seto, the national record holder in this event held on to earn an Olympic berth here, adding this 2fly to his already-solidified roster spots in the 200m and 400m IM.

A remarkable 4 men were under the 1:56 threshold in tonight’s final.


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

GOLD – Miho Teramura, 2:09.55 Olympic Qualifying
SILVER – Yui Ohashi, 2:09.67 Olympic Qualifying
BRONZE – Rika Omoto 2:09.85*

26-year-old Miho Teramura put up the fastest 200m IM of her life to upset national record holder Yui Ohashi and qualify for the Olympic Games.

After claiming the 3rd seed in last night’s semifinal in a relaxed 2:12.42, Teramura turned it on to bust out a winning effort of 2:09.55, dropping .31 from her previous career-quickest in the process. With her effort tonight, she remains Japan’s 4th fastest performer all-time.

For Ohashi, the 400m IM winner here already said she wasn’t satisfied with her 4:35.14 time in that event and she most likely won’t be pleased with this outing either considering she’s Japan’s fastest woman ever in a PB of 2:07.91. She’s already been faster this season, owning a time of 2:09.59 from February. In fact, Ohashi narrowly sneaked into 2nd place, skimming by tonight’s bronze medalist Rika Omoto by only .18.

All 3 women got under the JASF-mandated QT of 2:10.49 needed for Tokyo, so Omoto is out right now unless Teramura or Ohashi pass on their roster spot, which is highly unlikely.

Teramura’s time checks her in as the #3 swimmer in the world this season.

2020-2021 LCM Women 200 IM

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JPN National Record – 15:58.55, Ai Shibata 2007
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 16:02.75

GOLD – Yukimi Moriyama, 16:17.60
SILVER – Chinatsu Sato, 16:20.02
BRONZE – Niko Aoki, 16:23.02

Unfortunately for the nation of Japan, the top two finishers of the women’s 1500m free were unable to snag an Olympic qualifying time tonight in the final.

Taking gold was Yukimi Moriyama, putting up a mark of 16:1760 while Chinatsu Sato was fewer than 3 seconds behind in 16:20.02. The JASF-mandated QT stands at 16:02.75 so the women have a way to go to get into the territory the federation considers likely to medal.


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

Top 8:

  1. Katsumi Nakamura, 48.64
  2. Katsuhiro Matsumoto, 48.81
  3. Akira Namba, 48.98
  4. Kaiya Seki, 49.02
  5. Kosuke Matsui, 49.04
  6. Juran Mizohata, 49.10
  7. Shinri Shioura, 49.19
  8. Keisuke Ishizaki, 49.39

The men’s 200m freestyle winner here, Katsuhiro Matsumoto, fired off a time of 48.81 in this 100m free to trail national record holder Katsumi Nakamura by less than .2. The pair teamed up with 3rd seeded Akira Namba to create a trio of sub-49-second outings headed into tomorrow night’s final. They’ll need all the speed they can muster to beat the JASF-dictated QT of 48.33.

Nakamura’s season-best of 48.34 gives us a good sign that he’ll be able to make it under the threshold, but whether he’ll be at his 47.87 PB level remains to be seen.

Sneaking into the final as the 7th seeded swimmer is former national record holder in this event, Shinri Shioura. He stopped the clock tonight in 49.19.


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

Top 8:

  1. Suzuka Hasegawa, 2:08.84
  2. Kina Hayashi, 2:09.80
  3. Hiroko Makino, 2:09.84
  4. Yasuki Fujimoto, 2:09.88
  5. Kotomi Yamagishi, 2:10.09
  6. Chiho Mizuguchi, 2:10.20
  7. Karin Uchida, 2:10.29
  8. Miyu Nakano, 2:10.33

The women’s 200m fly may look like a tightly-packed field based on tonight’s semi-final, but the race is essentially Suzuka Hasegawa‘s to lose. She owns a season-best of 2:07.82 and ranks as the 2nd fastest performer ever from Japan with a lifetime best of 2:06.29. Hasegawa’s top-seeded 2:08.84 this evening stands less than half a second away from the JASF-mandated QT of 2:08.43.

However, there will still be a big race for 2nd place, with former national champion Hiroko Makino lurking as the 3rd seed behind Kina Hayashi.

A dark horse could emerge in the form of Yasuki Fujimoto, currently ranked 4th with a night swim of 2:09.88. Fujimoto is just 16 years of age and posted the fastest swim of her life. Entering this meet, her PB stood at the 2:10.28 logged at February’s National Championships.


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

Top 8:

  1. Ryuya Mura, 2:08.08
  2. Ippei Watanabe, 2:08.14
  3. Shoma Sato, 2:09.18
  4. Yamato Fukasawa, 2:09.47
  5. Hayato Yamao, 2:09.71
  6. Yu Hanaguruma, 2:09.85
  7. Kaede Hirakawa, 2:09.94
  8. Takaaki Okawa, 2:10.21

While all eyes are on the domestic rivals of Ippei Watanabe and Shoma Sato in this men’s 200m breast, it was Ryuya Mura who quietly put his hat in the ring for a possible Olympic berth in this event.

The 24-year-old just put up the fastest time of his career with his top-seeded 2:08.08 slicing .07 off of the 2:08.15 he put up just last December.

Watanabe and Sato held steady tonight in the 2nd and 3rd places, respectively. Watanabe’s 2:08.14 already dips under the JASF QT of 2:0828, while Sato seemed to experiment with a wicked-fast first half before shutting it down to clock 2:09.18. Sato’s opening 100m checked in a 1:00.88, the swiftest of the field by about half a second.

We noted how 2016 Olympic finalist Yasuhiro Koseki dropped out of this event’s prelims this morning You can read more about his questionable continuance here.

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1 year ago

I’m going to admit I am getting a bit bummed every time I open these threads now and see something like this:

World Record – 8:04.79, Katie Ledecky 2016
JPN Olympic Qualifying Time – 8:04.98

I hope we’ll be able to fill the lanes at the Olympics in July. I wish some of these more elite swimming nations would lighten up a bit.

Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
1 year ago

You had me for a moment … but that would be too extreme even for the japanese federation.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  AnEn
1 year ago

Especially when no one else under 8:14 ever

Landen Hashimura
Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
1 year ago

This comment deserves more recognition

1 year ago

Was anyone else anticipating bigger swims from Seto after the show he put on late 2019/early 2020? His only scraping into the top 2 in the 200 fly isn’t convincing at all.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Very few are going to swim as fast as they would’ve in 2020. You can look at the men’s and women’s NCAAs for proof of that.

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

He’s already qualified in the 2 events he could win gold in, doubt he’s fully tapered for this.

Reply to  Togger
1 year ago

I agree, it makes much more sense to just do one big taper at the games than two for trials and Tokyo. IMO it would be worth the risk of missing the team in the 200 fly since he’s going to have to dog it with 3-4 other guys for a minor medal, which would just be icing on the cake for his main IM show.

If he is, in fact, fully rested for this meet, then that’s not a good sign at all. Hagino is probably fully/close to fully rested and he has been far from encouraging.

Landen Hashimura
Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Considering how he came back out of shape and over weight, I’m not concerned. Hagino on the other hand concerns me- back in 2016 his strength was how he finished swims, but endurance seems to be an issue for him now. Not to mention the back to back 200 back and 200 IM final. Hoping he turns it up because he’s one of my favorite swimmers ever.

1 year ago

Anyone spot Kobori’s Tarwater impersonation in the 200 fly splits?

Chalmers > Dressel
1 year ago

Out of topic but Kolesnikov casually drops a 47.7 on the 100 free at russian trials prelims

Troll in the Dungeon
Reply to  Chalmers > Dressel
1 year ago

They are having an insane meet over there.

Reply to  Chalmers > Dressel
1 year ago

And Minakov negative split the 100. 24.11 on the second 50 for a mid 48.

Morozov's 21,94 from 2013 is next level
Reply to  Chalmers > Dressel
1 year ago

What about Andrei Minakov negative splitting the 100 free (24.34 / 24.11)


Fastest back half 50 in history.

1 year ago

I don’t think anyone is going to be able to challenge Milak in Tokyo – Le Clos the first 150 m, perhaps? Milak low 1.50, Le Clos and Seto low 1.52, Kenderessi and Burdisso on 1.53. I don’t think Urlando has what it takes to challenge for a medal, maybe in Paris 2024?

Reply to  Kim
1 year ago

I don’t think Le Clos and Seto will be under 53

Reply to  Ytho
1 year ago

Le Clos has absolutely the most potential to break 53 primarily due to his god-awful pacing in recent years. Not saying this comment is part of this, but I think a lot of the hate leveled at him in recent years by trolls and bullies is disgusting to say the very least.

Reply to  Swimmyswimm
1 year ago

Seto will do it, LeClos and Kenderesi can.

Reply to  Swimmyswimm
1 year ago

The fact people disliked a comment standing against bullying says a lot

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Kim
1 year ago

Wouldn’t count Urlando out. He had a terrific NCAAs with best times, and Baurle has a habit of getting his people prepared for the Olympics.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Did he (Urlando) not finish a lackluster 4th at the NCAA´s – certainly not a threat to Milak.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kim
Reply to  Kim
1 year ago

Not a gold medal threat, but definitely a medal threat. How is 4th lackluster for a freshman? He still went a PB by a second at NCAAs compared to his previous best, so if he knocks a second off his long course PB he’s at 1:52? I don’t think anyone can say Seto, le Clos, Burdisso, or any other competitors will definitively go 1:52 or even 1:53 low.

Hot Diggity Dog
Reply to  Kim
1 year ago

I don’t think ol longhorn is saying Luca will challenge Milak, I believe he is just saying he has a shot at a medal. I think everyone’s in agreement that nobody is challenging milak this summer, but you definitely can’t count out Luca for a medal. 1:53.8 can’t be counted out.

Reply to  Kim
1 year ago

Milák will swim 1:49.

Reply to  Brownish
1 year ago

I expect it’ll depend on what else he swims. Will he try to final in the 200 free? 100 free? 400? 4x100fr or 4×200?

1 year ago

That koseki update is crazy

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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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