2021 JAPAN OPEN
- Thursday, June 3rd – Sunday, June 6th
- Chiba International Swimming Centre
- Prelims at 10 am local/Finals at 4:30 pm local
- LCM (50m)
- Non-Olympic Qualifier
- Live Results
Although not an Olympic qualifier with the Japanese roster for its home-based Games already determined, the 2021 Japan Open began today with a plethora of talent diving into the Chiba International Swiming Centre pool.
For starters, world champion Daiya Seto put on a show in the men’s 400m IM event, handily taking the meet title in a quick time of 4:09.88. That not only crushed the field by 4 seconds but it also nearly matches the time this 26-year-old put up at the Japan Swim in April, the meet which represented the nation’s sole Olympic-qualifying opportunity.
There in Tokyo, Seto posted a swim of 4:09.02 to take over the world #1 spot in the season rankings, a position where he has remained to date.
Comparing splits between the two swims, Seto’s breaststroke leg this time around was the slightly slower discipline, with the man adding about over a second between the swims. His breaststroke was 1:12.19 here tonight versus 1:10.36 in April, which he tells SwimSwam is something he will be improving come July.
Tonight’s 4:09.88 splits:
April’s 4:09.02 splits:
As we mentioned in our preview, leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee was set to try the breaststroke on for size, an off-event for the bread-and-butter free and fly sprinter. The 20-year-old produced a time of 1:12.62 in the heats of the 100m distance, finishing 42nd.
Taking the race in this evening’s final, however, was Kanako Watanabe, who touched in 1:07.20. Right behind her was Reona Aoki, who got to the wall only .10 slower, while Miho Teramura was also under 1:08 in this women’s 100m breast race. Teramura secured bronze in 1:07.75.
Two men produced outings under the 49-second threshold in the men’s 100m freestyle, led by ace Katsuo Matsumoto. The national record holder in the 200m free logged a winning effort of 48.47 to claim the gold ahead of Katsumi Nakamura, who touched only .08 later in 48.56.
For Matsumoto, his time tonight, comprised of splits of 23.20/25.27 wasn’t too far off his lifetime best. That mark is represented by the 48.37 he nailed behind Nakamura’s winning 48.23 at the Japan Olympic Trials in April
- World Junior Championships medalist Miyu Namba placed first in the women’s 400m free, clocking the only sub-4:10 mark in 4:08.42. The 18-year-old has qualified in this event, as well as the 800m free for the home-based Olympic Games.
- Ai Soma snagged the victory in the women’s 50m fly, producing a time of 25.83. The aforementioned Ikee was not in this race.
- The men’s edition of the 50m fly saw Naoki Mizunuma get it done for gold in 23.32. Mizunuma will be representing Japan in the 100m butterfly this summer at the Olympic Games.
- Shoma Sato cruised to the top of the podium in the men’s 100m breast, producing a time of59.76 as the only sub-minute racer in the field.