2023 JAPAN SWIM
- Tuesday, April 4th – Sunday, April 9th
- Prelims at 9:30 am local (8:30 pm previous night EDT)/A-Finals at ~5:00 pm local (4:00 am EDT)
- Tokyo Aquatics Center
- LCM (50m)
- Qualification Meet For World Championships, World Junior Championships, World University Games, Asian Games
- JPN Selection Criteria
- Entries (in Japanese)
- Day 1 Prelims Recap
- Live Results
Day one of the 2023 Japan Swim got off to a super swift start on both the men’s and women’s sides as swimmers vie for spots on this summer’s World Championships roster.
We reported how leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee logged the fastest 100m fly since her comeback to competitive racing in late 2020.
22-year-old Ikee stopped the clock in a time of 57.68 to take the gold. That not only earned Ikee the victory but also qualified her for the World Championships, dipping under the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF)-mandated time standard of 57.92.
Ripping the fastest time in the world this season, Daiya Seto topped the men’s 400m IM podium in stunning fashion.
28-year-old Seto fired off a massive 4:07.92 to handily defeat the field, with the next-closest swimmer represented by Tomoru Honda. Honda, who owns the short course 200m fly World Record, snagged silver in 4:10.37 while Kaito Tabuchi hit 4:11.80 for bronze.
Both Seto and Honda cleared the minimum time standard of 4:12.50 to etch their names onto the consideration roster for the home-based World Championships.
As for Seto, his effort tonight easily surpassed the 4:10.14 previous season-best he registered last December to now beat out American rival Chase Kalisz to wear the world rankings crown.
Seto’s result represents the only time in the world under 4:10 and would have won gold at the 2020 Olympic Games.
It also checks in as the versatile athlete’s 2nd best performance to date, sitting only behind his career-quickest 4:06.09 from the 2020 Kosuke Kitajima Cup.
Although he was slightly slower than his morning heats swim, former World Record holder Ippei Watanabe got it done for gold in the men’s 100m breast.
Stopping the clock in a time of 59.62 as opposed to his morning mark of 59.52, Watanabe topped the podium, leading a trio of sub-minute swimmers. Yu Hanaguruma joined him on the podium with a time of 59.76, good enough for silver while Ryuya Mura rounded out the top 3 in 59.93 for bronze.
Unfortunately for Japanese fans, none of the finishers dipped under the JASF time requirement of 59.49 needed to qualify for Fukuoka.
World Junior champion Narita punched a time of 2:10.91 to just get the edge over Ohashi who came into the wall in 2:11.00. Shiho Matsumoto also landed on the podium with a time of 2:11.41 for bronze.
While Ohashi owns the Japanese national record with her lifetime best of 2:07.91 from the 2017 World Championships, teen Narita’s result here was within striking distance of her best-ever 2:10.21 from the 2022 National Sports Festival.
A benchmark of 2:11.47 was set as the time to beat to score a roster spot for Fukuoka so both Narita and Ohashi got the job done tonight. The pair sit just outside the list of top 5 performers in the world this season.
- Ikki Imoto retained his top spot from the morning to grab gold in the men’s 400m free. Imoto punched a time of 3:48.93, eking out the victory over Ryo Nakajima. Both men missed the standard for the World Championships, however.
- The men’s 50m fly saw Takeshi Kawamoto scorch a new national record of 23.13 in the morning heats, a time which ties Italy’s Thomas Ceccon as the top result in the world this season. Kawamoto added slightly but still got to the wall first tonight in a time of 23.16.
- Miyu Namba fell painstakingly short of qualification en route to winning the women’s 400m free. She touched in a time of 4:07.95 while the JASF-mandated standard sits at 4:07.90. She owns a PB of 4:05.25 in this event from last year’s Olympic Trials, making her Japan’s 2nd-best performer ever.