JAPAN OPEN 2017
- Thursday, May 18th (official training); Friday, May 19th – Sunday, May 21st (competition)
- Tatsumi International Swimming Center, Tokyo, Japan
- Prelims at 9:30am local (8:30pm EDT)/Finals at 4pm local (3am EDT)
- Meet Central
- Entry Lists (in Japanese)
- SwimSwam Meet Preview
- Live Stream
- Entry Lists/Live Results (English)
Even without winning gold tonight in Tokyo, Britain’s James Guy continues to make strides in the men’s 200m butterfly, an event in which he’s contested plenty of times in the past but has recently been taking to a new level of competition. The 21-year-old has been racing the event as far back as 2010, even placing 4th in the race at the 2013 World Junior Championships. After establishing a new personal best of 1:55.91 at last month’s British Championships, Guy described the grueling event as ‘fun’, perhaps foreshadowing the integration of the 2fly into his racing repertoire on a serious regular basis from now on.
Such was the case on day 1 of the Japan Open, where a just-off-a-Thailand-training-camp Guy matched his tapered personal best to take bronze in the 2 fly. Matching his 1:55.91 came after earning a solid 1:57.68 6th seed from the morning. Winning the top prize tonight was Japan’s Masato Sakai, the Olympic silver medalist behind Michael Phelps, and current world rankings leader.
Of his in-season result tonight, Guy was extremely pleased. “That was a massive surprise for me,” Guy said. “My heat was pretty fast and then tonight I equalled my PB so that was pretty good. That was the same time I did at trials and that was fully rested and tapered so this is a good sign. It’s all about practising processes here. Each event is so stacked and it shows you have to work hard to make the finals.”
Although Guy sits just outside the top 10 times in the world this season, his progression in the 2fly points to an upward trend headed to Tokyo 2020, should he choose to continue pursuing the race. A high-level review of select times from Guy’s history reveals how the 200m freestyle reigning world champion is fine-tuning his splitting strategy, now able to go out in a quick 55-mid and still have enough juice to take things to the minute mark on the way home. Guy still has a long way to go, as Sakai took his world-leading 1:53.71 out in 53.81 and brought it home in 59.90, but Guy’s progression is starting to stack up internationally.
1:55.91 (55.38/1:00.53) – April 2017, British National Championships & today in Tokyo
1:57.05 (55.59/1:01.46) – March 2017, Arena Pro Swim Series Indianapolis
1:58.74 (57.24/1:01.50) – June 2014, Canet-En-Rousillon
1:58.80 (57.24/1:01.56) – August 2013, World Junior Championships
2:02.08 (58.00/1:04.08) – March 2012, British National Championships