Coming Back To Form, Hagino Throws Down 4th Fastest JPN 200 IM Ever


In addition to the new 50m breast national records registered by Reona Aoki and Yasuhiro Koseki, of which you can read more here, there were plenty of other notable swims that wrapped up the 61st Japanese Short Course Swimming Championships tonight in Tokyo.

20-year-old rising star Rio Shirai powered her way to the top of the women’s 100m free podium, producing a time of 52.87 to take the gold. Shirai represented the only swimmer of the field to dip under the 53-second threshold in the event.

In doing so, Shirai enters Japan’s list of all-time performers at #3 in this SCM 100 free, sitting only behind national record holder Miki Uchida’s 51.83 and Rikako Ikee’s 52.11.

Shirai also snagged 100m back gold on night 2, touching in a time of 56.00. Entering this competition, Shirai’s PB in the event was represented by the 57.48 she logged at a FINA World Cup stop last year. Flash forward to tonight, however, and almost a year later the on-fire athlete dropped almost 1 1/2 seconds to become her nation’s 3rd fastest ever SCM 100m backstroker of all time.

More magic happened in the 100m free event, with Katsumi Nakamura hitting the only sub-47 second outing in a winning effort of 46.85. The 25-year-old Olympian owns the Japanese national record in this event with his career-fastest time of 46.22 logged at the 2018 Short Course World Championshps where he ultimately finished in 7th place in 46.57.

The women’s 200m IM saw Yui Ohashi get to the wall first in commanding fashion, hitting a near-national record-setting time of 2:05.84. Beating the field by over 2 1/2 seconds, Ohashi’s result was within striking distance of her Japanese standard of 2:05.29 set at the 2018 FINA World Cup Series stop in Tokyo.

Finally, in a Daiya Seto-less men’s 200m IM field, Kosuke Hagino got it done for gold, finishing in a time of 1:52.89. Leading wire-to-wire, Hagino is well on his way to coming back to form since taking an almost-5-month hiatus to tend to body and mental health.

Although well off his own Japanese national record of 1:50.47 notched at the 2014 Short Course World Championships when he topped American Ryan Lochte for gold, Hagino’s 1:52.89 effort tonight checks-in as the 4th fastest performance ever by a Japanese swimmer.

Top 4 Performances All-Time: Japanese Men’s 200 SCM IM

1:50.47 Kosuke Hagino JPN 2014 SCM World Champs 12/5/2014 Doha
1:51.09 Daiya Seto JPN 2018 World Cup – Eindhoven 9/29/2018 Eindhoven
1:52.12 Hiromasa Fujimori JPN 2016 World Cup – Berlin 8/31/2016 Berlin
1:52.89 Kosuke Hagino JPN 2019 JPN SC C’ships 10/27/2019 Tokyo


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Wouldn’t be surprised if 2 Japanese swimmers will stand on the podium in the IM events in Tokyo


It almost happened last year with Hagino and Seto going 1-3 in the 400 im and Hagino taking 2nd in the 200 im. Japan won all three medal colors in the ims alone


+ Lochte – that would be Great to watch


That converts to a 1:56.09 in LC. Interested in what he could do in long course.


He’s a great swimmer. Would be nice to see all the players on form in 2020: hagino, seto, kalisz, etc.


Lochte will be on the podium.


+ Lochte of course ….the Raining WR holder

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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