$275,000 USD Offered For World Record Broken At Upcoming Konami Open


  • Saturday, February 15th & Sunday, February 16th
  • Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, Tokyo, Japan
  • LCM
  • Meet Information

The 2020 Kosuke Kitajima Cup, which just concluded last weekend, represented the first of a trio of annual high-profile Japanese swimming meets bringing us into the height of the Olympic preparation season.

Along with the Kirara Cup, set for February 7th-9th and the Konami Open, slated for February 15th-16th, the three meets hold extra significance in this Olympic year, giving both veterans and rising swimming stars within Japan additional chances to fine-tune their racing craft before the all-important Japan Swim.

Set for April, the Japan Swim represents the nation’s Olympic Trials and the sole qualification opportunity for athletes to qualify for a home nation-hosted 2020 Summer Olympic Games. An exception to this is Daiya Seto, Japan’s first-ever double IM World Champion.

Olympic medalist Seto clocked a 400m IM winning effort of 4:08.95 and a 200m IM mark of 1:56.14 to top the podium twice last year in Gwangju. His gold medals automatically qualified the versatile star for both events for this year’s Olympic Games, per Japan’s Olympic selection policy.

To bring out the best in the racers competing next month, organizers of the 36th Konami Open have sweetened the pot big-time in terms of incentives, offering up a whopping 30 million yen prize to anyone who breaks a World Record at the meet. That equates to approximately $275,000 for anyone who fires off the fastest time ever in an event, across men’s or women’s races. (Nikkei)

Also up for grabs is a prize worth 5 million yen (approximately $50,000 USD) for any Japanese swimmer who produces a new national record at the meet.

Historically, the Konami Open has seen some stellar performances, including Katsumi Nakamura‘s still-on-the-books 100m free national record of 47.87 from the 2018 edition. At the last Olympic year competition, Rikako Ikee clocked a new World Junior Record of 24.74 at just 15 years of age.

Already this year, 18-year-old Shoma Sato rocked a big-time 2:07.58 200m breast swim to register an unofficial World Junior Record and sit under a second away from Ippei Watanabe‘s national record of 2:06.67 from 2017.

Ageless wonder Ryosuke Irie is also displaying impressive form, nailing a time of 52.59 last week to come within .35 of his own national record in the 100m back.

World Championships silver medalist Katsuhiro Matsumoto is also a name to mention for producing something special, clocking a winning time of 1:45.82 already this year in his signature event of the 200m freestyle.

Along with the Japnese national team, the nation’s World Junior Swimming Championships squad and Junior Elite squad have been invited to this 2-day affair.

With the aforementioned kind of money on the line, in addition to the increased adrenaline infused into Japanese swimmers longing to represent their country this summer on a home stage, anything can happen.

Among Women Invitees:

Tomomi Aoki

Reona Aoki

Chihiro Igarashi

Nagisa Ikemoto

Runa Imai

Yui Ohashi

Waka Kobori

Rio Shirai

Satomi Suzuki

Suzuka Hasegawa

Among Men Invitees:

Shinnosuke Ishikawa

Ryosuke Irie

Naito Ehara

Shinri Shioura

Daiya Seto

Katsumi Nakamura

Yoshida Keisuke

Shoma Sato

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Chaitha D.
1 year ago

Seto is has a chance to win this money

Reply to  Chaitha D.
1 year ago

The world records in Seto’s events are crazy. I think he could get close, but he hasn’t been within 2 seconds of the 4 IM, or 1 second of 2 IM.

Reply to  Hmmmm
1 year ago

agreed – those 2 WR’s are still tough to reach …..even for a Talent like Seto

Reply to  Hmmmm
1 year ago

Well then, he,ll just have to skip the 200 fly and 400 IM and throw everything at the 200 IM next month to win that money.

Just swim like a man possessed in the 200 IM.

Reply to  Chaitha D.
1 year ago

The bonus for national records is certainly achievable. Hagino’s marks for both medleys are on red alert and Seto himself just set the mark for 200 fly.

Reply to  Chaitha D.
1 year ago

the 400 IM actually seems like the most likely. i think something involving the free being the worst stroke, it will take pure grit- fully assuming that, like most swimmers, he does indeed swim mostly freestyle during practice, making him at least very familiar with the stroke and able to change gears (unlike, say, butterfly, which generally is more difficult to nail if you aren’t a) talented enough or b) don’t practice enough) …so, the key will be to use his undeniable dominance in the first three strokes, and just bring it home as fast as possible. he does not have a weak stroke besides free (unlike Kalisz, who had two: back & free). i mean, there’s gotta be something… Read more »

Reply to  swimfast
1 year ago

I’ve long had suspicions of what kaliszs real 200 freestyle time is. His technique is awful but he closes his IMs just fine. Either he is secretly as 1:46 200 freestyler or he saves all his energy for the end to close. I would be very surprised since he has the worst free technique known to man.

1 year ago

The times are gonna be sicko mode

1 year ago

Which events are most likely to go down? 2 breast, 1 back, 2 IM?

Reply to  Tupperware
1 year ago

1 back? doubt

Reply to  anonymoose
1 year ago


1 year ago

Shoma Seto turns 19 in February and as FINA go by YOB for junior records, his 200 breast time is not eligible as a WJR.

Now that we’re in 2020, men have to be born 2002 at the very latest, with 2003 the cutoff year for women.

1 year ago

Seto’s backstroke is not that special. He has sort of a shorter choppier stroke. Not in the same league as Phelps or Lochte. That’s the weak link perhaps. He is more of a pure short axis swimmer with a powerful freestyle from what I can see.

Reply to  Hank
1 year ago

He’s 1:52 2 fly 2:08 2 breast 1:47 2 free and unknown in 2 back but he seems to manage pretty well on long axis since he’s has the best underwaters of anyone in the IM’s

1 year ago

You forgot (Select)!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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