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.
Last week, Japanese 23-year-old Naoki Mizunuma hit the 4th-fastest time of anyone in the world this season in the 100 fly.
A time of 51.26 was a drop of two tenths from Mizunuma’s previous best time. And though the 2019-2020 season was severely disrupted by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, Mizunuma moves to #4 in the world behind only world record-holder Caeleb Dressel of the United States, Shinnosuke Ishikawa of Japan, and Kristof Milak of Hungary.
Last season, Mizunuma was Japan’s fastest 100 flyer, going 51.43 at the Japan Champs in April and making World Championships semifinals. But his time ranked just 13th worldwide.
Mizunuma’s swim sets him up for a big summer of 2021 showing in front of a home crowd – assuming the now-2021 Tokyo Olympics do happen.
His time drop also bodes well for Japan’s men’s medley relay, which was 4th last year at Worlds, but still 2.5 seconds out of medaling in a field where the top three teams (Great Britain, the United States, and Russia) swam away from the rest of the teams with ease.
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