Hagino Opens 2020 Japan Swim With 400 IM Victory


Day 1 of the 2020 Japan Swim saw some solid swims, but nothing spectacular, reflecting the fact that this is a non-qualification event for the nation’s best swimmers.

Many contestants, such as Kosuke Hagino, Shoma Sato and Yui Ohashi, are coming off of International Swimming League season 2, with their team of the Tokyo Frog Kings making it to the final 8 before being eliminated. As such, we’re seeing non-tapered swimming from the aquatic athletes, producing results as follows for day 1.

Hagino indeed was in the water, topping the men’s 400m IM in a time of 4:13.32. That’s a very respectable effort from the man who took over 5 months off last year to tend to mind and body, with little long course racing under his belt so far in 2020.

The new dad did not compete at the 2019 Japan Swim but hit a time of 4:10.69 to take the national title two years ago. At the Japanese Short Course Championships in October prior to the ISL season, Hagino produced a time of 4:02.75 to snag his best time in two years. He finished the ISL season as the 2nd fastest 400m IMer with a time of 4:01.41.

Katsumi Nakamura produced a time of 48.80 to top the men’s 100m free podium for the 6th consecutive Japan Swim. The Olympian edged out World Championships 200m free silver medalist Katsuo Matsumoto, who hit a mark of 48.94 for silver. Kaiya Seki rounded out the top 3 in 48.98.

For Nakamura, he owns the national record with the 47.87 he notched at the 2018 Kosuke Kitajima Cup, while Matsumoto is Japan’s 4th fastest performer ever with a PB of 48.52 from last year. Seki’s result here is just a hair off his PB of 48.95 posted in January.

Of note, the 16-year-old freestyle phenom of Konosuke Yanagimoto didn’t make the final, but still put up a time of 50.34 in the morning heats. He owns a lifetime best of 49.41 from this past September.

In the women’s 400m free, which was one of my top 5 races to watch, my top 2 contenders of Waka Kobori and Miyu Namba were upstaged by Kinuko Mochiduki. 21-year-old Mochiduki rushed in with a time of 4:08.43, the only sub-4:10 mark of the trio, hitting a new personal best in the meantime.

Entering this Japan Swim, Mochiduki’s lifetime best rested at the 4:08.81 posted at the Japan Student Swimming Championships this past October. However, she now checks-in as the nation’s 6th fastest performer ever, overtaking Kobori and her PB of 4:08.59.

Tonight, Kobori clocked a time of 4:10.21 to settle for silver, while Namba was right behind in 4:10.22 for bronze.

The men’s 100m breast saw a trio of men dip under the minute mark, led by 19-year-old Shoma Sato. Sato stopped the clock in a time of 59.69, his 2nd best ever. Sato’s PB rests at the 59.55 from just this past October, a time which made him Japan’s 3rd fastest performer all-time.

Takera Tatsuya hit a mark of 59.74 for silver, while Yuya Hinomoto clocked 59.87 as tonight’s 3rd place finisher.

Additional winners on day 1 included Kanako Watanabe getting it done in the women’s 100m breast in a time of 1:06.78, while Shogo Takeda took the men’s 1500m free, beating the field by over 9 seconds to produce a time of 15:07.44.

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2 years ago

Japan and their insane amount of breastrokers!

2 years ago

Wasn’t Seki 48.95 at this years Kitajima Cup?

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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