Disclaimer: Dolfin 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 Dolfin 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’s a slow time of year for fast swimming: athletes are either taking or just coming off of well-deserved breaks after this summer’s slew of international meets, college meets have only barely started, and the World Cup and ISL are still weeks out of their next competition.
But Japan’s Kosuke Matsui still found a way to be fast at last week’s National Sports Festival. The 25-year-old sprinter hit for a lifetime-best 21.88 in the 50 free, breaking a meet record while leading off a 4×50 free relay that also broke a meet record.
Matsui was only 22.07 last season, ranking 34th in the world. That season has ended now, but his 21.88 time would have moved him into the top 18 worldwide. As it stands now, he’s the fastest in the world for this young season (which began September 1). He’s also just .11 seconds off of Japan’s Olympic selection time, though he’ll have to hit that mark at the Japan Swim in April.
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