Blueseventy Swim of the Week: Watanabe Finally Breaks Marked Record


Disclaimer: BlueSeventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The BlueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

It began to feel like a broken record – only one about a record that stubbornly refused to be broken.

“Its days are numbered.” “Someone will get it soon.” “There are too many swimmers in the 2:07s for that record to last long.”

Yet despite years of constant threats, Akihiro Yamaguchi‘s 2:07.01 world record in the 200 breast held fast from 2012 to early 2017. The onslaughts were regular. Every single year, one or more swimmers would come within tenths of breaking it. In 2013, Daniel Gyurta went 2:07.23. In the summer of 2014, Ross Murdoch was 2:07.30 and Marco Koch 2:07.47. That fall, Dimitriy Balandin went 2:07.67, and then in the summer of ’15, Koch once again dipped into the 2:07s to win Worlds. At U.S. Olympic Trials in 2012, Josh Prenot went 2:07.17, and at the Olympics Balandin was 2:07.46 to win gold and Ippei Watanabe went 2:07.22 in semifinals.

After what seems like forever, Yamaguchi’s record has finally fallen in January of 2017. It was Watanabe, the last name in that long list of challengers, who finally cracked the barrier, going 2:06.67 in Tokyo this week.

Watanabe’s splitting was incredibly even, with his final three splits all dipping under 33 seconds: 28.9/32.3/32.6/32.6. That huge leap forward chopped almost half a second off the world record. It also sets up Watanabe as the heavy favorite in the 200 breast at this summer’s World Championships in Budapest. A win would give the 19-year-old his first-ever Olympic or World Championships medal.


There isn’t a second that goes by when the team at blueseventy aren’t thinking about you. How you eat, breathe, train, play, win, lose, suffer and celebrate. How swimming is every part of what makes you tick. Aptly named because 70% of the earth is covered in water, blueseventy is a world leader in the pool and open water. Since 1993, we design, test, refine and craft products using superior materials and revolutionary details that equate to comfort, freedom from restriction and ultimately a competitive advantage in the water. This is where we thrive. There is no substitute and no way around it. We’re all for the swim.

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is it just me or are there issues with the bios under the “in this story” section? every time I click a name it comes up with an error page 🙁


I am able to get to the profile and watch the video there for the WR swim. Amazingly even split but interesting that he did a lot more strokes in the last lap than the previous 2 laps (2nd and 3rd lap) – excluding pull out, looks like he did 13,16, 16 and 21(or 22? didn’t see to clearly as the camera moved away and then back as he reaching the wall) for each laps.

IMs for days

Budapest should be awesome
The 50-400 freestyles are wide open
Horton vs Paltrinieri Vs park in the 800 and 1500
Murphys chances to chase down the WRs in the backstroke races
Peaty lowering his marks in the 50 and 100 breast.
A loaded 200 breast field.
Govorov chance to get the WR in the 50 fly
How much faster can schooling get in the 100
How will the new names like Kenderesi due in the 200 fly vs Le Clos
Hagino vs Seto in the IMs
And thats just the men, can’t wait for june


Will Haas get a new run at the 200 or maybe Conger ? how will be the 400 free relay for Usa with the new blood on the deck ..? The field overall will be awesome to watch for sure .

bobo gigi

Murphy is a beast but no way he breaks Aaron Peirsol’s 200 back world record next summer.


Where are the rest of the results from this meet? Between his WR and Ikee’s 1:56 low, this sounds like it was a pretty fast meet.

bobo gigi

On the Japanese website I can find results only in Japanese….

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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