Daniel Gyurta of Hungary has won just about everything in the 200 breaststroke over the last three years, including two World Championships and an Olympic gold medal, but he only held the World Record in the 200 breaststroke for a very short time.
That’s because on Saturday evening (Japan time) at the Japanese National Sports Festival, 18-year old Akihiro Yamaguchi broke his World Record with a 2:07.01, just missing the mythical 2:07-barrier.
Gyurta’s old record had stood at 2:07.28 from London. Here are the comparative splits:
As great of a closer as Gyurta is in this event, Yamaguchi seems to be even better – his final 50 was almost a full second faster than when Gyurta last broke the record.
Since Yamaguchi first broke out at Japan’s High School Championships a few weeks ago, he has been racing over-and-over again, all with the expectation of getting this record. He has come up just short, but the result is that he now has 3 of the top 6 times in the world this year.
Highlighting Japan’s history in this event, Yamaguchi is now the 6th different Japanese swimmer to hold the World Record in this event since they started being tracked in 1908. That’s more times than any other country aside from the United States (8).
Incidentally, this also took down the Japanese Record of Kosuke Kitajima in 2:07.51.
Full meet results available here (in Japanese): http://swim.seiko.co.jp/2012/S70703/day0.html