2023 KOSUKE KITAJIMA CUP
- Friday, January 20th – Sunday, January 22nd
- Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center
- LCM (50m)
- SwimSwam Preview
The 2023 Kosuke Kitajima Cup kicked off from Tokyo tonight with Olympian Ryosuke Irie making a statement right off the bat.
Racing in the men’s 100m backstroke, Irie ripped a winning effort of 52.93 to grab gold. Irie, who turns 33 years of age later this week, opened in 25.71 and closed in 27.22 to beat the field with ease, topping the podium by nearly two and a half seconds.
The time checks in as multi-Olympian Irie’s season-best, overtaking his 53.42 from last November’s Japan Professional Swimming Championships. He now sits only behind American Hunter Armstrong in the overall world rankings in this men’s 1back event on the season with the pair representing the only sub-53 second swimmers thus far.
Also making noise on night 1 was newly-minted short course World Record holder Tomoro Honda.
Racing in his bread-and-butter 200m fly event, 21-year-old Honda put up a winning time of 1:53.63. Splitting 54.33/59.30, Honda logged his 2nd fastest time of the season. He already fired off a massive 1:52.70 at last month’s Japan Open, a time which rendered him the world’s #1 swimmer on the season as well as the #4 performer all-time in the event.
National record holder Katsuhiro Matsumoto was the top finisher in the men’s 200m free tonight, producing a time of 1:46.35. The 25-year-old has already been as quick as 1:45.88 this season, a time he logged in November to remain as the world’s 2nd fastest performer on the season.
Nagisa Ikemoto got it done for gold in the women’s 2free, hitting a mark of 1:58.14. The outing scored a new lifetime best for the 20-year-old, slicing .05 off of the 1:58.19 she previously produced during the 2019 FINA World Cup Series. Her result also shaved .20 off of the 1:58.34 she earned earlier this season to remain the #7 performer worldwide.
Of note, Rikako Ikee was also among the field, wrangling up 4th place in a time of 2:01.35.
- Rio Shirai took the women’s edition of the 100m back, producing a new meet record of 1:00.29.
- National record holder Reona Aoki topped the 100m breast field, clocking a new meet record of 1:06.06.
- Ippei Watanabe made it happen in the men’s 1breast, hitting a time of 1:00.25 to get to the wall first.
- Miyu Namba was the women’s 800m free winner, posting a time of 8:35.78 to beat the field by 6 seconds.
- The men’s 1500m free saw Shogo Takeda log a time of 15:07.05, getting to the wall with a comfortable lead over runner-up Kazuki Imoto who snagged silver in 15:09.47.
- The women’s 200m fly was won by Hiroko Makino who registered 2:09.99 for the victory.